Skip to main content
2:00 pm
he said, the fed did not understand the relationship between financial firms, how the problems in the financial sector would move to the real economy, or how severe the financial crisis would be. that's in his written response to me. i thought those were the kinds of things regulators and the fed in particular were paid to understand and address. we shouldn't be paying fed chairmen to learn on the job. just like with consumer protection, chairman bernanke did not take the job of regulating the banks under the fed's authority seriously. instead of close supervision of the biggest and most dangerous banks, he allowed them to he grow their balance sheets and
2:01 pm
increase risk. and the same is true on derivatives. after taking over the fed, he did not see any need for serious regulation of derivatives until it was clear that we were headed to a financial meltdow meltdowns in part to those products. even worse than the failure and flawed policies i just mentioned, chairman bernanke destroyed the independence of the fed. he bowed to the political pressures of the bush and obama administration and turned the fed into an arm of the treasury. walking arm in arm with the treasury, chairman bernanke bailed out all eye profits record profits and
2:02 pm
pay out billions of dollars in bonuses. and now it appears that chairman bernanke is compromising the independence of the fed to get votes for his confirmation. after a meeting with chairman bernanke, the majority leader issued a statement saying that he had expressed concerns to chairman bernanke about thing that is the fed was not doing and that chairman bernanke committed to take action. the majority leader went on to state that his support for chairman bernanke was not
2:03 pm
unconditional. i do not question the majority leader's intent or actions here. and i certainly do not have a problem with a senator telling the fed chairman about his concerns urging him to take action. i have done so myself on many occasions and it is not a problem for the fed chairman to agree that he -- he and the fed need to address concerns raise bid a senator. but what is not appropriate is the fed chairman making commitments in order to secure votes for himself. i hope that is not what is happening in this case. now with greater power goes the responsibility to use that power in an open and certainly a transparent way. we have all heard chairman bernanke talk a lot about
2:04 pm
transparency. but his actions speak louder than his words. he promised congress more transparency when he first became fed chairman. and he promised us more transparency when he came begging to the congress for tarp. while he has published some more information than before, those efforts fall far short and he still refuses to provide details in all of the fed's actions over the last two years. after his confirmation hearings, i asked chairman bernanke for a list of documents for us to review. all of which are reasonable for congress to see. for example, the list included documents about the bailout of bear stearns and a.i.g.
2:05 pm
information about the fed's regulation of banks before and during the crisis and traps scripts of monetary policy meetings that have not been made public. but his answer made it clear that he's not going to put -- not going to open the fed's actions to review by congress or the taxpayers. instead of providing those documents, what i got in return was a folder full of paper that was printed off the fed webpage. that kind of response is not only disrespectful to the senate, but it raises the question of what are they hiding? following the markup of chairman bernanke's nomination, chairman dodd did arrange for the banking committee members and staff to
2:06 pm
review some of the documents surrounding the a.i.g. bailout. i thank him for doing that and i took him up on the offer and went down to the fed myself to look at them. in reviewing those documents some interesting and useful facts came to light that will be helpful as we craft banking and farm legislation. more importantly for what we are talking about today, some of those documents contain new information that raises serious questions about chairman bernanke's judgment, leadership, and personal role in the a.i.g. bailout. unfortunately under the agreement with the fed to get access to those documents, i am not allowed to talk about the details and i was not able to copy those details and bring
2:07 pm
them back and show them to other senators. i think that every senator should be able to see those documents prior to voting. and i ask chairman dodd to subpoena them this week, but that has not happened. senators should be especially concerned about voting now because last week chairman bernanke, himself, asked the g.a.o. to conduct a review of these same documents, but that review will not be complete and not made public until well after this vote has been taken in the senate. while all of the reasons are enough to vote against chairman bernanke, the simplest reason is that a vote for ben bernanke is a vote for bailouts. chairman bernanke has been in the middle of all the financial
2:08 pm
bailouts during the crisis. it was his fed that bailed out bear stearns in march of 2008. it was his fed that bailed out a.i.g. in september of 2008. and it was chairman bernanke, along with secretary paulson, who came to the congress begging for tarp. and if you like those bailouts, by all means vote for chairman bernanke. but if you want to put an end to bailouts and send a message to wall street, this vote is your chance. i urge you to vote no on the confirmation of chairman ben bernanke for another four-year term as fed chairman. i yield the floor -- yield the
2:09 pm
floor and reserve my time. mr. dodd: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from connecticut is recognized. mr. dodd: mr. president, i'm going to ask to address the chairman for three minutes and reserve the balance of my time for later in this debate. and let me say to my friend and colleague from kentucky who is a member of our committee, and a worthwhile member of the committee. while we disagree on this nomination, i'm appreciative. he raises very good questions. he does so with a great deal of compassion and conviction on these matters. and i appreciate his gracious comments and trying to accommodate his -- the matter affecting a.i.g. where $180 billion of taxpayer money was involved. there are of course my colleagues aware, investigations going on by the independent commission that is looking at
2:10 pm
all of this and individual senators going down and getting information. while it may not be satisfactory to everyone, there is an effort to be made to make sure that the people can be informed as they possibly can about that matter and there is a hearing on the house side as well on this issue. the matter before us, obviously is whether or not to confirm mr. bernanke, the chairman of the federal reserve, for a second term. i'm a strong supporter of this nomination and i want to explain briefly why and i'll complete my remarks later in the debate. very simply, mr. president, i have yet to meet a nominee that i ever voted for that i was say 100% for, but comes to a nomination with a record that is going to necessarily be embraced by all 100 people here or even those who support nominees. the issue is is certainly looking back is important to do. but the most important issue relative to the two questions looking back or looking forward,
2:11 pm
i think most americans would agree where are we today and where are we going in these matters? i happen to believe over the last year or a little more than a year the chairmanship of ben bernanke has in no small measure made it possible for this nation to avoid a catastrophe that i think would have loomed as large as great depression an maybe larger because of the global implications of decisions that were need to be made. had it not been for ben bernanke and the chairman of the federal reserve, i think we'd be looking at a very different america today. now he was not my choice to become the chairman of the federal reserve. the previous administration nominated ben bernanke. i voted for him. and then when i became chairman of the banking committee in january of 2007, for the first time, i went through a very frustrating year on that committee. on february 7 of 2007, i had my first hearings on the issue of the mortgage crisis in the country. and we had 12 such hearings on
2:12 pm
that committee over the remaining months. almost one every month on this issue. yet, i could not get the chairman of the federal reserve to pay as much attention as i thought he should have. beginning in the latter part of 2007, and going forward, his leadership in my view was absolutely critical to avoiding the kind of problems this country faced. so, mr. president, i'll speak for a few more minutes later in this tee baivment but i think we would make a great error, indeed, if we were to reject this nomination. we'd not terminate this filibuster, vote up and down on this nominee and provide the confidence, the stability that our markets demand. this economy, as fragile as it is, is going to continue to get back on its feet again. to do otherwise, i think would do great damage to our nation at this critical moment. mr. president, i yield the floor and withhold the balance of my time. we have a lot of members who
2:13 pm
want to be heard. it is limited time. the presiding officer: the senator from rhode island is recognized. mr. whitehouse: i do wish to comment today on the nomination of bernanke for a second term at his critical post on the federal reserve. as our nation continues to recover from the worst financial crisis since black tuesday of 1929, and the deepest recession since the great depression, the chairmanship of the federal reserve is one of the most important positions in the federal government. earlier this month goldman sachs, the wall street behemoth, announced a bonus pool o of $16.2 billion. j.p. morgan recently handed out a $9.3 billion set of bonus payments. and "the wall street journal," reports that bank of america is expected to match the bonus level that it paid in 2007, prior to the collapse of the
2:14 pm
financial bubble and the taxpayer bailout. mr. president, it these bonuses make it clear that wall street has recovered from the economic downturn. a recover further indicated by the ted spread which failed today to 0.17, again, signaling recovery for the banking system. in contrast to the restored prosperity being enjoyed on wall street, americans on main street struggle through the aftermath of the bush recession. unemployment nationwide whoevers around -- hoover around 10%. rhode island is worse. rhode island's official unemployment rate was 12.9% last month. the proportion of rhode islanders underemployed, working overtime is worse than that. families in my state and across the nation are struggling to pay for groceries and to stave off foreclosure.
2:15 pm
the economic distress is so widespread in places like rhode island that hardly anyone remains untouched directly or undirectly. it's hea hear heartbreaking to e around province where nearly every house is boarded up, families are evicted from their homes. the explosion of the housing bubble left wreckage across the nation that will take years, perhaps decades, to cleanup. mr. president, ben bernanke bears considerable responsibility for the lax regulation that brought about the housing bubble. and there is nothing that he could question confess to erasea quick view of the public statements in the months leading up to the crisis demonstrates a troubling pattern of false confidence. on february 7, 2008, months before the start of our great recession, chairman bernanke
2:16 pm
said this, the nonfinancial business sector remains in good financial condition with are strong profits, liquid balance sheets and corporate leverage near historic lows. by 2010, our most recent projections so output rates picking up to close to its long-term trend and the unemployment rate edging lower." well, here we stand in 2010, and it could not be more clear that mr. bernanke was far wrong. regarding the housing crisis, chairman bernanke said on may 17, 2007 -- "we do not expect significant spillovers from the subprime market to the rest of the economy or to the financial system." again, he would not have been more wrong. regarding the strength of our financial sector, chairman bernanke said on february 28, 2008 -- "among the largest banks, the capital ratios remain good, and i don't expect any serious problems." we need a fed chairman with the
2:17 pm
foresight to anticipate problems and to take action before they occur. chairman bernanke has clearly not demonstrated this capability. as the president of the united states noted in his state of the union address last night, the bank bailout was about as popular as a route canal. -- as a root canal. well, it appears that chairman bernanke will be reconfirmed, but i want to express with my vote that the leaders of president president obama's economic team must pivot from the necessary rescue of our major financial institutions to equally if not more necessary help to america's families. in prioritizing the recovery of wall street, leaders at the fed and the treasury, i believe, made significant errors in several key areas. failing to establish a due process mechanism to legally make adjustments to wall street pay, bonuses, and counterparty liabilities so they all had to
2:18 pm
be paid 100 cents on the dollar. hoarding the tarp reserve for banks long after banks were secure when families were desperate for help, but no, they clung to that reserve just in case the banks needed it. never mind the present need of american families. third, allowing the banks to prevent families in this chamber fighting against it, access to bankruptcy courts to readjust their home mortgage debts, the way any other debtor can do for any debt including the big banks themselves. giving banks and investment banks unlimited access to zero percent loans at the fed window to use for arbitrage while profitable small businesses are desperate for credit to use for jobs. other nations, the u.k. and france, have announced special taxes on banker bonuses to help pay for bailouts. not here. if you're a scorekeeper of our recovery, it looks like it can be summarized in the two-word
2:19 pm
phrase -- bank wins. that is not a balanced score. so i will conclude by saying that whoever leads the fed for the next four years, i urge that we start prioritizing help for the middle class. the fed has enormous powers that could be used to help people. it can regulate credit card rates. it can force big banks to reduce principle and underwater -- to reduce principal and underwater mortgages. if our nation's central bank is to regain the confidence of the american people, its priorities must serve the american people. i thank the chair. i thank the distinguished chairman, and i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from new hampshire is recognized. mr. gregg: thank you. i believe my time is being yielded off of senator shelby's time. mr. president, i rise in support of the confirmation of chairman bernanke to another term at the
2:20 pm
fed. there are a lot of reasons, there are a lot of reasons, but let's begin with the most obvious one because i think it's also one of the most important. we were in the fall of 2008 looking over a precipice of massive disaster to our financial structure as a nation. we were at a point where it was a distinct possibility that the entire financial system of this country was going to implode. what would have been the implications of that had it occurred? what would have been the outcome of that had it occurred? not only would we have lost the basic super structure of our banking system in this country, which is at the essence of a strong economy a good banking system because credit, especially in our capitalist system, is a critical element in order to create prosperity. people have to be able to get
2:21 pm
credit in order to take risk and create jobs, but equally important, the implications to just everyday americans would have been overwhelming. i understand it's difficult for people to appreciate how severe this was because the event didn't happen, but had it occurred, had the financial system collapsed, as i believe it probably would have, then everybody in this country would have found their lifestyle and their quality of life reduced, i suspect, because the capacity to just basically operate a business would have been significantly constricted. just getting money from your bank would have been a problem. the ability to get loans would have basically disappeared for a while. it would have created a massive disruption in our economic structure, which it is projected
2:22 pm
it led to unemployment rates of as high as 25%. i don't know if that's true, but that's the projections from some realistic people. this didn't happen. yes, we went into a very severe recession, and yes, that recession is still hurting americans. there are still americans hurting as a result of it. but the massive collapse did not occur. it didn't occur because a few people stood up and took very aggressive action, much of which was totally new and out of the box in the way it was -- the way it proceeded, and the key player in this -- or one of the two key players in this effort was the secretary of treasury. and the other key player was the chairman of the fed. two secretaries of the treasury stood up and made the tough calls, treasury secretary
2:23 pm
paulson, treasury secretary geithner, but there was only one fed chairman throughout this whole period. and he took the fed down a path which it had never been down before. he injected into the economy over $2 trillion of liquidity. he basically allowed the fed to become the lender of the nation. nobody had ever done that. the way he did it was extraordinary in its creativity and the results were that the country's financial system did not collapse. and many americans, everyday americans' lives were not fundamentally disrupted because of the actions of chairman bernanke. he deserves credit for having been willing and courageous enough to have been made these types of decisions, and that is the type of leadership we needed.
2:24 pm
strong, definitive leadership at a moment of acute crisis. that's what chairman bernanke gave our nation. he deserves to be confirmed just for that action alone. now, there is no question but you can monday morning quarterback what he did, and you can analyze it and you can probably say he should have done this better or that better. no question about that. but the fact is that the results of what he did accomplished the goal which was to stabilize the financial institutions of this country. the way i describe it is as if you're coming up to a bridge in your car with your family, and the super structure of that bridge is about to collapse. somebody comes along and they fix the bridge just as you get on it, and you drive over the bridge and you didn't even know it got fixed. but it was fixed. if it hadn't been fixed, you would have had a disaster.
2:25 pm
that's what chairman bernanke and the treasury secretaries paulson and geithner did for our nation, so he deserves to be reconfirmed for that reason. the second reason he needs to be reconfirmed, in my opinion, is because as we look forward, we're still looking at some very tough times, and the money, the liquidity that was required to be put into the system, this this $2 trillion, as the system recovers, becomes a risk for the system. we all know that. if that liquidity is allowed to play itself out and to multiply, you could end up with a fairly significant inflationary event. as we all know, inflation is the cruelest tax of all because it devalues people's savings and it undermines the productivity of a nation. so how this liquidity comes out of the markets, how we get this this $2 trillion-plus as it has
2:26 pm
been multiplied out of the system is going to be a very complicated, but very important undertaking. it's going to be primarily the responsibility of the fed to do that. chairman bernanke has outlined fairly clearly and i think in a very positive way how he intends to accomplish that, how the federal reserve will start to draw down that liquidity. and as far as i know, it's the only proposal out there that has any legitimacy, and it's an important proposal as we go. so we need him in that spot, not only out of respect because he did such a great job, an important job and a successful job in stabilizing the financial situation of the late 2008-2009 period, but because we need him to deal with the perspective problem here that we're looking to confront. so that's another reason to confirm him. now, some will argue he shouldn't be confirmed because for years he participated along
2:27 pm
with chairman greenspan in keeping the money supply, the rates on interest too low. that is a debatable point. i tend to think rates were too low for too long. i think it's one of the reasons we ended up with this huge bubble in the real estate industry, and it's one of the drivers, but i don't think that was a primary driver of what caused this financial downturn in this huge real estate bubble. the primary driver was a decoupling of the responsibility to lend constructively from the people who were actually doing the lending. we had a breakdown in underwriting standards, to put it quite simply. people -- because we had all these different people originating loans who had no real interest or vested interest in the loan because they were selling them and because a lot of our banking institutions have become lax in their underwriting standards, loans were being made
2:28 pm
to people who couldn't pay the loans back on assets which didn't have the value to support the loan. people weren't looking at the loan. they were looking at the fees they were going to get. then they were selling the loans. and the sale -- when the loans got sold, they got securitized, sub divided and multiplied as to the implications. that wasn't the fed's failure. to some degree in their oversight bank holding companies, you can argue it was the fed's failure, but i tend to put that more on the bank supervisor as the authorities that were specifically on the ground. so yes, interest rates were kept too low too long in my opinion, but is that a reason to reject him as fed chairman? i don't think so. i think that again is the monday morning quarterbacking exercise. i think the real test of his leadership and his ability to manage the money supply and to live up to the primary commitment of the fed, which is to have sound money and a strong
2:29 pm
economy, was how we handled the crisis of late 2008, and as a corollary to that, how he intends to handle the impending problems with the -- with the liquidity that's in the market and needs to come out of the market. so as i have said before, if i were looking around for someone to do this job, this would be the person i would want to hire because i think he is the best person for the job, and is he perfect? no. nobody's perfect anywhere, but has he proven himself to be an extraordinarily talented and aggressive leader who saw a crisis, managed it, and kept a lot of americans from having a much more severe impact on their lifestyle as a result of his actions? yes, he has. that i think is a test. that is the test. i certainly hope my colleagues will vote for him.
2:30 pm
i understand that there is this populist fervor around here now. populism has always been a heavy strain in our body public in america. i understand that populism usually has to have an member. usually it -- has to have an enemy. usually it has to be an enemy that can be hyperbollized into a conspiratorial group. so the fed because it's separate from the former government, and it has to be because we do not want the congress managing our money supply. that would be a disaster. look at what we do with our fiscal house. think of what we would do with the money supply. the fed becomes an easy target for those who wish to fire the flames of populism, both on the left and the right. and i regret that the president has joined in this exercise, because i think he's thrown kerosene on
2:31 pm
the fire. you don't know where the fire is going to go when populism gets ignited. but populism usually involves exaggeration. and it almost always involves misapplied purposes. the substance is usually very significantly different than the actual description of what the events are. and in this case, that's true. the fed is not some secretive institution which is trying to undermine the quality of life in america. just the opposite. the fed is a very public institution that is audited fairly completely, with the exception of the open-market window which shouldn't be audited because we don't want congress managing money supply, and an audit of that responsibility would put the congress into the business of managing money supply. and not only does it not undermine america's prosperity, it is the key to america's
2:32 pm
prosperity -- or one of the keys. because it maintains a sound money supply and tbhaws a time of crisis -- and because in a time of crisis like we had in late-2008, it is there to step up and may make the tough decisions, independent of the political process, and it has proven that it can do it. and so i would hope we wouldn't allow all of this fervor to find fault with people to overwhelm an extremely talented nominee who deserves to be reconfirmed and who we quite honestly need, who we need in that position as chairman of the federal reserve. mr. president, i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from oregon is recognized. mr. merkley: mr. president, i rise today to oppose the nomination of ben bernanke as chairman of the fed. i do so as a member of the
2:33 pm
banking committee who voted against his nomination in that committee, because i researched his record, and on that record i believe that ben bernanke is not the right person to lead the fed. in short, bernanke's decisions over the last eight years as a member of the federal reserve board, as chairman of the council of economic advisors, as chairman of the fed helped set the fire that destroyed our economy. now, mr. bernanke is a calm and unassuming man, responsive and thorough in his explanations and very likeable. in addition, to keep the analo analogy, he has ha done a good b with the fire hose over the last year. he understood that tightening credit during a collapsing bubble economy would be pliek turning off the fire hydrant in the middle of a fire.
2:34 pm
he did keep the fire hydrant turned on. and i give him credit for that. but now we need to rebuild our economic house, and that takes an architect, not a fireman. that takes a builder, not someone turning on a fire hydrant. based on his performance over the last eight years, i do not believe that ben bernanke is the right architect to rebuild our economy, an economy that will work for working families. consider the following: ben bernanke failed to react to the enormous danger from an interlocking web of derivatives that created high-speed channels for massive financial contagion. let me put it simpler: derivatives turned our financial institutions into a set of dominoes, which when one falls,
2:35 pm
others fall. and, ben bernanke did not respond to the growing threat of derivatives. bernanke failed to respond to the increase of. mr. pryor: tear trading that amplified risk in both depository lending institutions and our financial system as a whole. mr. merkley: again, let me put this more simply. gambling on stocks and bonds and derivatives is fundamentally incompatible with bank stabili stability. but bernanke did not respond. ben bernanke supported and advocated for policies that reduced capital and increased leverage in both commercial banks and investment banks greatly magnifying risk across the system. he supported greenspan's philosophy of deregulation and self-regulation. he advocated for bozel2.
2:36 pm
it was to say to the largest banks in america you can set your own leverage ratios. what did that result in? that resulted in banks going to 30-1 leverage. now, if you invest money 30-1 in an up market, it's a killer. you make all kinds of money. but when you're at 30-1 leverage and the market turns down, you blow up immediately. now, there is not an analyst in america who can tell you at any one moment when the market will go up and when the market will go down. but they can tell you that it will go up and down over a period of time. what goes up must come down. there is never going to be a steady, upward climb fo forever. so, if you allow 30-1 leverage, you're going to make a lot of financial institutions very, very happy. they're going to make a lot of
2:37 pm
money until the markets turn down. well, ben bernanke set loose the leverage requirements that paid the path -- that paved the path, that set the fire, that burn the our economy. ben bernanke failed to protect homeowners from deceptive practices. why is this important? let me explain to you what happened over those eight years. families went to their real estate agent and the real estate agent followed a strict code of conduct, a strict code of ethics and they arranged to buy a house. and then they went to a broker and they assumed that there would be a similar strict code of ethics and therm going to get a loan for their house and the broker said, you know what? homeownership has gotten very complicated, mortgages have gotten very complicated. i'm going to be your advisor. i'm going to be your advisor. trust me and sign this loan right here. this will be the best one for
2:38 pm
you. and what was w. wrong with that is that the homeowner did not know that the broker was being paid a large sum of money called a "yield spread premium" also known as "a steering payment" because they were designed to steer people into certain loans, also known as "a kickback." the broker was receiving those and families that qualified for prime loans ended up in subprime loans. what institution was responsible for consumer protection on mortgages? the fed was responsible. ben bernanke did not do a thing to protect consumers from this gross conflict of interest that torpedoed the financial prospects of millions of americans' families but he had direct responsibility. in the fed, monetary policy has been in the penthouse, as it must. that is a primary responsibility.
2:39 pm
safety and soundness in the upper floors and consumer protection in the basement. we cannot leave consumer protection in the basement. so i'll close with this: ben bernanke was not alone in helping to set this fire. he had a lot of company. but over eight years he made critical mistake after critical mistake that in the short term large financial institutions loved but it set the tone for our economy to burn down and it results in a loss of retirement, loss of savings and with the job loss, loss of health care. that's an extraordinary mament t of damage. we need somebody to build our economy. ben ber
2:40 pm
>> senator, a moment ago you mentioned health care. the president obviously made health care his signature legislative push in 2009. do you think he made a mistake? >> i do. and not because health care isn't important. i just think the timing wasn't good. standing at a very deep hole, it's hard to reach as high as you need to reach in order to put together a health care proposal that can get through the congress. i personally would have said, let's work exclusively on starting, restarting the economic engine once again and putting people back to work. the president i'm sure there say he was working on that as well. but i would have said that first, health care later. but, look, the president won the election, i didn't. so his position is you can't fix the economy without fixing health care. and there's some truth to that. we found it difficult to
2:41 pm
provide a menu of health care changes that can be enacted and signed into law. >> you can see the entire interview on "newsmakers" tomorrow on c-span. >> this week on america and the courts, the second circuit court heard argument concerning a lower court's ruling to force the federal reserve to identify financial institutions that received assistance. both fox and bloomberg are asking that the records be released under the freedom of information act. >> american jazz can be an instrument for spreading good will overseas? >> i think so. over there, jazz is stronger than the mazeance. just like a religion. >> they go for it big? >> and they live it. >> he was without question the
2:42 pm
single most important figure in jazz in the 20 ds century. >> on his new biography of jazz great lieuie armstrong. >> next, bill clinton talks about the recovery efforts in haiti and how the international community and businesses can help the haitian economy. acting as u.n. special envoy, mr. clinton is followed by a panel of global business leaders from the world economic forum in switzerland. this is about 46 minutes. >> mr. president, ladies and gentlemen, your excellencies, i welcome all you to this very special, very important crucial session on haiti.
2:43 pm
all of us in this room remain deeply saddened by the jail and scope that has ravadged haiti. the scope of destruction. this magnitude serves as a harsh reminder of how fragile life can sometimes be. but it is also during these moments that we are reminded of the common humanity which we all share. we decided to convene this special session immediately following the eerttedsquake as the scale and scope became really clear of the devastation. in speaking with president clinton, he and i immediately agreed that a joint effort of
2:44 pm
the clinton global initiative, the world economic forum, together with the united nations, should be a powerful partnership to effect meaningful change. let me be clear. we are not here to try and to coordinate and to address issues related to the short -term disaster relief and recovery. there are many agencies already doing great work, and here i know many of you have already generously contributed to that end. i would also like to mention that many of those who have done such great work at the very short notice and have engaged personally in a very
2:45 pm
deep way into the help for haiti are sitting here in this room. and i would single out particularly the former prime minister of haiti who has come all the way from haiti just to be here today together with us. please let's particularly recognize the work and the presence not only of her but of all those ngos here in the room who have done fantastic work. [applause] i would like to introduce someone ho has become a real friend of the world and who we
2:46 pm
owe a lot. william jefferson clinton, the president of the united states from 1993 to 2001. and i will not forget, never forget on the occasion of our 30th anniversary, mr. president, the very difficult situation when you joined us and when you made such a great speech. and since that time, you have been with us i think every single year. and we are so glad to welcome you back and particularly at this very special occasion. [applause] , and particularly at this very special occasion. [applause] i think what people appreciate
2:47 pm
most is your sense of passion and the deep sense of humanity which you show always as an individual. it is not so much your formal work as a president which impresses everybody, but it is in addition -- you as a human being, which is such a great characteristic of yours. bill, you have a relationship with the country that dates back several decades. even you had your honeymoon in haiti. and since that time, i know that you had to spend a lot of your attention, of your time in your presidency but also after words with the clinton initiative in giving special attention to haiti.
2:48 pm
your knowledge of the country, its people, and its challenges has also been the reason why in may last year, secretary-general of the un it appointed do is the u.n. special envoy for haiti. despite all your tremendous engagement with haiti, i know from our conversations that nothing could prepare you for the degree of devastation that you have witnessed personally during your recent visit in haiti. we are now all the ford to redress, but it is more than just been addressed. -- we are all looking forward to your address, but it is more than just an address. -- we all have an obligation to
2:49 pm
help haiti in such a way to show the world that we are really committed to improving in sustaining the country. mr. president. thank you. [applause] >> good morning. i want to begin by thanking the world economic forum for making the opportunity for all of us together here today. let me say briefly what we are going to do. i will try to tell you where we are and i walked -- what i want you to do. and then we will have remarks and the conversation from the others who are here, including the minister of foreign affairs
2:50 pm
of brazil, foreign minister -- foreign minister, i want to say to all of you who got -- who do not know this, the united nations security force has been commanded by a brazilian general. the brazilians have led an enormous increase involvement from south and central america in the caribbean, 80's neighbors, and they have done so superbly. -- haitis's neighbors, and they have done so superbly. they have held things together. president obama and the secretary of state and our a.i.d. people have signed an agreement with the brazilian leader so that we, of the united states, have tried to provide extra logistic and distribution support in haiti. but i want to say, sir, on
2:51 pm
behalf of the world, i think brazil has been magnificent and we are very grateful to you and your country and to your leaders. [applause] dennis o'brien is the chairman of the digicell group. he lives in ireland, except when there is and earthquake in haiti. we have been friends for many years. he told me not long after i met him, that young haitians who sold his telephone cards on the street or the best under norris he has ever met. he has worked tirelessly to rebuild the haitian economy. he has worked out -- to coordinate the business people that we have recruited through the clinton global initiatives that have made it well in excess of $100 million dollars in commitments to invest in haiti.
2:52 pm
he has done everything he can to get cell phone server is back up again and then number of things to help peahaiti. hele,n, the former prime minister, who went to a lot of trouble to be here. the former president of the canadian international development agency. i, too, would like to thank the former prime minister for being here. when she left office, she asked me to keep working. she has been no real inspiration to all of us. she came all the way from haiti to be here today. if you have questions about that, you might want to talk to her. and i think all the others to send emergency aid and long-term commitments, including our want to mention george soros who
2:53 pm
has reaffirmed his commitment to make a substantial, private sector investment in haiti. let me be very brief. i want to say a few words about where we are and then i want to turn it over to the people here, and then maybe give opportunities for you to talk without or with everybody here as soon as we break up. the world economic forum has agreed to work with us in partnership to work between now hinted that clinton global initiative in september and for the next couple of years to increase private sector involvement in haiti. there will be outside here are haiti desk and robert will explain how it will operate. we want you to think about this. if you want more information, we will get you the information. but there will be a place where you can go between now and the
2:54 pm
end of this session of the world economic forum, to tell us what you are interested in it or ask for us to follow up with you, or to tell us what you are doing now and are prepared to do. so, where are we? the bad news is that somewhere around 150,000 have lost their lives. many of the survivors have had limbs amputated and have not received wheelchair's or prosthesis. there are hundreds of thousands of people who need temporary but extended housing and even more who need to get food and water every day. the united nations security force has been working well. i think the americans have done a good job.
2:55 pm
the government of haiti has asked the united states to manage the flow at the airport. there are 800 to 1000 planes trying to land there. on the day before the earthquake, only 10 or 12 airplanes landed at the airport. now they land more than 100 a day, on a big, one-runway airport. they are managing it well. there are serious, and that food and water needs. part of it is the distribution system does not exist. the government was devastated by the earthquake. the united nations suffered its worst loss of life on a single day in the history of the un . but the airport has become the de facto operations center of this relief effort. and the haitian government is building up offices there so
2:56 pm
everybody can be in one place and work on a daily basis. the immediate needs -- think about it like this. in the aftermath of the earthquake, you had all these people walking the streets, not knowing how many of their loved ones are living or dead, with only what they had on their back, with no food or water, able to get no sleep, no light anywhere at night. for days and days, there were stumbling over bodies living and dead. and i do not mind the international media showing people in unrest at the food distribution centers because it spurs us all to do better. but i think you need to know, in my opinion, given what they went through, the people of this country be paid magnificently in the aftermath of the most unimaginable tragedy. so i think that things are better now, but there are serious problems with getting
2:57 pm
enough food, medicine, and shelter. what do we need? we need safe, sanitary shelter. that camps are being developed. both are important. right now every piece of green space in the larger port-au- prince area is i.t. by by somebody sleeping at night. -- is occupied by somebody sleeping at night without sanitary conditions. we need more food and water distributed. we are attempting to set up, even today, a better system of monitoring the hospitals and clinics in the area, basically a traditional hospitals and a number of field hospitals and off-shore hospital units have been set up. -- do daily monitoring on what the medical needs are so that we can fly in or distribute what is already there at the airport in a more effective way.
2:58 pm
we have to then get temporary schools open and get the kids back in the schools, the teachers before they leave, and the government has no revenues to restore basic services. everything was taken away. i told somebody i spent last weekend on toilets and trucks. and i say that not to make you laugh but to remind you of what they are up against now. right now we need to figure out how to get through the week. i want the people of haiti not to have to worry about whether they can eat today, whether they can get water, whether their kids will be hungry. i want them to be able to know from one week to the next they have a place to sleep, that it is safe and sanitary, that there are some light conditions at night, all of that. the thing we need most now is, instead of 15 distribution centers for that food, we need
2:59 pm
100 or 200, and the only practical way to do it is trucks. we have the money. dennis and i were talking about it. former president bush and i were asked to raise money. we have raised money in our fine. i raise some money through the u.n. fund. we would like to have a good deal, but we can buy these trucks. we need to get them a distribution network down there to get this food and medicine out. the camps are destroyed. people do not have a way to get around. -- the cabs are destroyed. it is not enough to distributed at 15 sites. so if there is anybody scheerer who knows where i can -- if there is anybody here who knows where i can get, not big trucks, pickup trucks or slightly bigger, i need 100 yesterday. they do. so, i will say again, if you want to help, unless you are in
3:00 pm
contact with a medical facility and you are sending specific medical facilities, or unless you have access to medical teams, righ,@@@@@@@ @ @ @ @ @ @ there of ngo's there. they have about 10,000 there, the largest number per capita in the world with the possible exception of india. all of them had been heroic in this crisis and good on a more consistent basis.
3:01 pm
the un, the agencies like the world food program, unicef, a lot of people have been working a hard, in spite of the fact that our leadership was crushed their. here is what i want you to think about. before all this happened, i was asked to be a u.n. coordinator in a very different time. haiti lost 15% of its gdp in 2008 because of four hurricanes. michelle lui was then the prime minister, and the haitian government had a commitment to modernize the country, and the u.n. secretary-general said, we want you to go in there and help them by making sure that the donor nations and international organizations on their commitments and we get more private investment. i said that i would do it, but only if i were helping the
3:02 pm
haitians to implement their own plan. that our goal this time should not be helping the country by helping the country to stand on its own, to determine its own destiny, to be sustainable in a fundamentally positive way. so they did that. the haitians took dr. paul colorado your's economic report. they made amendments to it. they had their own plan. -- paul collier's economic report. the donors were beginning to distribute the aid. we had a foreign investment conference where there were more people from the neighborhood, latin and central america, then from europe, canada, the u.s. and asia combined. the first time in my lifetime the neighbors have been committed to the future. as i said, dennis o'brien will tell you in a moment, we had a group recruited over the last year or so and through the cgio
3:03 pm
that invested millions of dollars there. i tried to organize the haitian diaspora. the parliament gave dual citizenship to the haitian diaspora, which has enormous potential in positive implications for the development of the country. and the ngo community was beginning to work together for the first time to try to harmonize and intensify their efforts. we have people interested in building up the agricultural sector, the tourism sector, the potential for development of call centers, all kinds of things. then the earthquake happened. here is what i want to say. this is horrible for the people of haiti. they are in shock now, and a lot of them are frustrated they are not getting beat a fast enough. -- the aid fast enough. i still believe they have the same chance to escape the past
3:04 pm
and build a better tomorrow they had before the earthquake, if we can manage this crisis. and then, develop both a plan for what happens in port-au- prince and west, and a structure that will have the confidence of donors and accountability that will both in power and increase the capacity of the haitian government and involve haitian citizens and all the rest of us in the long-term reconstruction. and i am working on that. we did in indonesia after the tsunami. we had a system that mobilizes and coordinated what the government could do. we had total transparency, accountability, and a regular set of progress reports that made a big difference. i also believe that a country can rise from the ashes in a very short time. my model for that is rwanda. dr. paul farmer who is my deputy at the un and has worked in
3:05 pm
haiti for 25 years, his foundation and mine went to rwanda and it helped rebuild the entire health care system in three years. four years after the genocide in 1998, per-capita income was two under $68. 10 years later, it was $1,100. it had nearly quadrupled. [applause] a lot of you were part of that. do not tell me they cannot do this. this is an opportunity to read imagine the future for the haitian people to build the country they want to become, instead of to rebuild what they used to be. we have to get through the emergency. we have to get it organized, and we have to have the right structure and support. i invite you to be a part of that. and i can tell you this, and then i will turn it over to the other panelists here. after we had that investment
3:06 pm
conference in port-au-prince, we did what we always did. we went out and said, how did you like it? how you feel? you're is the most important thing, those of you on the outside of you need to know. 97% of the people who came to the investment conference agreed with dennis o'brien. they said they were surprised by the positive opportunities available there for them. i want them to become you. i will turn it over to the panel and ask all of you to visit the haiti desk. if you know you are prepared to do something, signed up and let us know. i assure you we will organize it for you and be back in touch. thank you very much. [applause] and i think we will go down the line. dennis, would you like to speak next? >> mr. president, ladies and
3:07 pm
testamengentlemen, there is a by for haiti and it is tomorrow. there is a huge case for direct investment in haiti. we have invested over the last four years, it is -- it is a terrific place to do business. the government policies are favorably disposed towards foreign direct investors. more importantly, he has a very young population. we have 900 staff. they are hugely talented people. they are very committed. they are hard working. if there are 10 million consumers in the marketplace. and it is my view that over the next five years, the president has given an example of what happened in rwanda, that can be replicated in haiti with a proper reconstruction plan and development plan. by way of example, i met a man at the other day, he came back
3:08 pm
to work. he lost five of his family, and he showed up for work. i think haitian workers, haitian staff, patient managers, and most of our business is run by haitian managers are some of the best people in the world. you know, you probably will ask yourselves, where are the opportunities for me and my business? first of all, there is opportunities in tourism, in the northern part. there are wonderful beaches. already the crews liners are coming in. there are hotel groups like choice hotels, best western are investing money. also in the areas of light manufacturing, particularly in textiles. there is the thing called the hope two agreements which allows manufacturers to have favorable tariff treatment in the united states. the president has been involved in pushing that. there are opportunities in fruit production, and in food
3:09 pm
production of taiwanese group is putting $16 million into rice production. also for people in reconstruction and rebuilding businesses, property development. i think there is an enormous opportunity for those people to come in now and make solid investments. infrastructure, electricity generation as well. we, in the space of five years, have never had any problem with our business. we have never had difficulties with the government. he that is why i actually think that this market is at the doorstep of the wealthiest consumer market in the united states. most of us in this room have investments all over the world, but they are generally pretty boring, because they are -- we are making money, creating jobs in other countries and that, but haiti is not boring. it is challenging it is cg.
3:10 pm
you can strengthen your management team by sending them there. haiti is wide open for business. for those of you who are looking for all low-cost manufacturing location close to the u.s., please go and register at the haiti desk. or get in touch with the clinton global initiative, because with in that, we are pushing investment. i will personally go and make a presentation, even though i am not the foreign direct investment agency for haiti. i just cannot strongly urge you enough to actually do something. and do it for the right reasons. not just do it for all to rest of reasons, but for economic reasons. -- not just altruistic reasons. haiti is our great country. tomorrow, it will be an even better country. >> thank you. let me just say, first of all, we were going to have a meeting
3:11 pm
of all of the people who had already made business commitments. -- in haiti. then the earthquake intervene. dennis told them all to come to sell florida and meet anyway. and they all re-upped. i cannot thank you enough. you are right. haiti is not boring. but neither is it hopeless. i thank you for your commitment. i should also tell you i met with 50 plus ngo and philanthropic leaders, all of whom reaffirmed their commitment. the people who have been down there are hot. and they believed -- they are hooked and they believe in what we can do together. i t y very much. i would like to ask the foreign minister from brazil to speak about his prospective -- perspective on this. where he thinks we are, where we
3:12 pm
are going. then i would like to ask ellen clark and talk about what our partnership is going to be like. mr. foreign minister? >> thank you, mr. president. i am really very honored and touched and moved to be here today, because i just came from haiti about four days ago. i could see with my own eyes some of the things that are mentioned here. in spite of all of the tragedy, people are living. the markets are reviving, even the street markets. certainly, it is not boring. actually, what i would say, just as an aside, even in the aspect of art, painting and music, that is also an area which can bring money and which can be used. remember, that roosevelt when he was busy reviving the american economy, he also paid attention
3:13 pm
to the artists. that is an important part of the self-esteem of the country. i was reading yesterday an article which speaks about the cathedral where you have a stained-glass window with bible figures but they are black bible figures. so this is part of the national pride that has to be recovered. as president clinton said, brazil is committed in terms of security forces. we lost 18 soldiers and officers now. and we also lost what we consider the brazilian that mother teresa, who worked with children there. and also the vice deputy of the un mission, of the civilian mission. but that did not detract retention period on the contrary. we are even more committed now.
3:14 pm
-- on the contrary. we are even more committed now. i will extend myself -- this is not the time to make propaganda publicity. this is a moment of solidarity. i am moved to see the list of donors, countries like chad, like botswana, like the bogabon. it is a moment in which the world has to show solidarity and i want to complement them for promoting this. there are a lot of experiences in haiti going on, some by ngo's, some in tri-lateral corp., that have to do with some sort of economic activity. but these are small-scale but these are small-scale things, like the cash for work, i also want to think in the medium and long term. that is just around the corner. we have to deal with that in
3:15 pm
emergencies. i think there are four questions that have to be addressed. i will just mention these four. there are others. energy, environment, and security. jobs for young people. one of the main priorities for the president was the outflow of young people. these of the people that convinced construct -- that can reconstruct. it is important that things come in so that people can see there are prospects. you can take an area like garments. in brazil, we were discussing how to facilitate the rules of auditing to make it easier for people to invest. es of origin to make it easier for people to invest. i had 11 businessman from brazil in the mission that was
3:16 pm
coordinated by president clinton. it is essential to do that. for the first time, i saw the brazilian textile industry saying they are prepared to give reciprocity. if the american companies invest their, and if the hope to be wrote gives easy rules of origin, we will do the same. -- if hope two gives easy rules of origin, we will do the same. it is an area we have to do something. one of the worst -- one of the causes of the last political crisis in haiti before the earthquake was precisely the food. in energy, brazil has an enormous experience in biofuels. but this can be done and not just to help haiti but to make money. in the beginning, it can be to hydrate. biofuels coming from brazil, going to the u.s. market. then it can be used in haiti itself.
3:17 pm
finally, environment. haiti is a devastated land, from the point of view of the environment. i do not want to go into the causes, but that is the fact. so we would need a massive program, financed maybe by the world bank. but with also private sector interested in replanting trees in haiti, because otherwise, the country will continue to suffer from floods. floods do not come only because it rains. it floods because the environment is not adequately prepared to absorb those reins. if i could just finalized, since i always came to these forum to speak about trade. this is the time to show we are not only about profit and greed. this is the time for all developing and developed countries that can do so to
3:18 pm
offered duty-free, quota-free to all asian products with facilitated rules of origin -- to haitian products. >> thank you very much. let me clarify it. for those of you who are not involved in haiti, you saw the pictures on international television, not just of this human misery but all the channels repeatedly showed of map of the islands and of haiti and of where the earthquake was most severe, in port-au-prince and west. i want to emphasize something that both previous speakers said, but i want you to be clear. 70% of the land mass of the country and about 60% plus of the people were not directly damaged by the earthquake. the economic plan which was developed by the government then headed by the prime minister
3:19 pm
lui includes commitments for this whole country. it is more important than effort, in my opinion, while we are trying to rebuild port-au- prince and help people put their lives back together, to try, if anything, to accelerate the impact of the economic plan and its implementation in the rest of the country. i want to make and events -- the defense of the royal caribbean lines. they were criticized for continuing to drop their ships -- to dock their ships. i think that is wrong. they brought in money that the haitians are desperately needed. the cat people working who needed jobs. -- they kept people working. you did not want us to shut the whole rest of the country down while the capitol was simple -- was broken and bleeding. let's just take tourism.
3:20 pm
there were 80,000 tourists in haiti last year, 500,000 broad hint by -- brought in by royal cruiselines. i hope we can accelerate the construction of the airport. i know personally two businesses that will open resorts there. they will put a lot of people to work. a lot of people have left port- au-prince, gone back to their villages. they need to make a living. we have agricultural, environmental projects, tourism projects, all kinds of opportunities in the rest of haiti. doing something there will be a direct benefit to the area hit by the hurricane as we begin the rebuilding. and i want to thank all of the people who kept economic activity going in the rest of the country during this moment. otherwise, i do not have strong
3:21 pm
feelings about this issue. i am aghast that anybody would criticize the people who are trying to keep the rest of haiti together in this moment. i want to call on our undp director ellen clark to talk about what the un system has done. i would like to say, i am of volunteer there, but i am profoundly moved by how dedicated they all are to doing their mission in the wake of an unimaginable tragedy for the u.n. system as well. so, please. >> thank you, president clinton, a distinguished fellow panelists, ladies and gentlemen. i think of all of the comet -- contributions made, there is a comment message that out of this catastrophe can, the time of renewal, if we put together in the partnerships that make that possible. and everyone can play a part in those partnerships. there has been an extraordinary outpouring of good will and commitment for haiti, from the
3:22 pm
governmental level, from the level of the ordinary citizens across our society is, from the private sector and foundations and non-governmental organizations. the key thing is to keep that momentum going. right now the humanitarian relief phase is still very much their. we are moving into early recovery with cash for jobs. beyond that, there is the agenda that others have talked about. there is no doubt in my mind that the kind of private sector investment that president clinton and world economic forum have in mind in which i understand robert will talk about can be incredibly important. as president clinton said, there was an economic recovery plan is driven by the government in place before this catastrophe. that plan must not stop. that's plan -- that plan must be accelerated. there are large parts of haiti that were not physically impacted. the work can go on now there.
3:23 pm
i have come today representing the secretary general to be supportive of the initiatives that president clinton and the world economic forum are putting to you and to say that the role of the private sector, the role of the foundations, the ngo's, this is just so important, alongside the role of governments can play alongside the role of development banks and multilateral institutions. it is about unique partnerships where everybody plays a role in supporting haiti at this hour of need to build back better and to actually knew. thank you. >> thank you. robert, why do not explain what we propose to do now. we have already run over time. we do not have time to explore specific questions, but we have tried to set up a system to do that. >> thank you. as you mentioned, i was involved in haiti as the president of
3:24 pm
canada's international development agency. i am proud of canada, together with brazil and the united states on this issue. we are calling for a global partnership. we are calling upon people to go beyond in gauging and beyond giving to engaging. after the tv cameras have gone, to continue with the hard work of creating sustainable jobs for haitians. we think the power of the international business community can be a major force behind that. how do we hope to do that? well, as president clinton mentioned, we will work under the haitian leadership of the haitian economic development plan. what we will be doing, together with the clinton foundation, is we will work in collaboration, getting together the business leaders here who are interested in engaging in committing to procuring, potentially looking at investing, a partner in to help build asian jobs and asian businesses. witt -- haitian jobs and haitian businesses. dozens of you have already
3:25 pm
signed up to look at the opportunities. i would invite to court interested to go to the haiti desk to receive more information -- i would invite all of you interested to go to the haiti desk. and, just in closing, the theme of this year's davos is rethinking, redesign, rebuild. we should rethink how we engage in these challenging situations. we should read this and how we work together. together, we can rebuild haiti. >> let me close by saying is, there is a group of people meeting in haiti, including architects and urban planners trying to imagine the future. if he think it is hopeless, i urge you to go to new orleans and look at the former ninth water where everybody -- ninth ward. we now have some of the green as
3:26 pm
housing anywhere in the world that is more affordable than what was there before. yes, we need plans to rebuild port-au-prince. we need plans to do the rest. yes, we need a structure that guarantees accountability and all that. the me tell you what the bottom line is. haiti is the only successful country ever established as a result of a slave revolt. for that, they're were punished by being ignored or abuse. the united states to not recognize them for 60 years. when finally we did, we were in with the rest of the crowd of european powers saying they had to pay enormous reparations for winning their freedom. then for 20 years, early in this century, starting during world war i, marines occupied haiti but did nothing to and power that people are change the fundamental structure of society, to build the self- determination you have to.
3:27 pm
when we left, things went to hell again. i cannot see how anybody could have been surprised that there were haitian leaders who abused their people the way he had been abused by outsiders, the same way some children who are abused or to be child abusers. then they started trying to get their democracy back 20 years ago. i tried to give it to them. but a lot of us on the outside have not known how to help. so, haiti has also been hurt a little bit by all of us who feel self righteous, that we are doing good to help them. they wish to be empowered to chart their own course in the future. and they need to be helped through this hideous natural disaster to get there. but i will say again, they have the best chance they have ever had in my lifetime to escape their past. we have the best chance, those of us who are outsiders, to be partners, not just trying to help people so we feel good.
3:28 pm
but to empower people who are as gifted and hard-working and creative under unbelievably adverse circumstances than any people i have ever seen. as dennis said, this will not be boring for you. but i will guarantee you, you will feel better if you do it. in all probability, you will be successful. after this is over, you might want to talk not just to the people here but to michelle lui who asks to meet all away from the port-au-prince. to head to -- who has come all away from port-au-prince and then went to dominican republic. anad td to george soros. i am grateful to him. there are others you're involved in the haiti project. if you have any interest in this, e
3:29 pm
if you have any interest in this, please let us know and i will follow-up. h
3:30 pm
>> listened to c-span radio in washington and on satellite radio. it is also a free app for your iphone. >> now, a centering on a deep relief efforts. witnesses on thursday include paul farmer and james dobbins. this is about one hour and 45 minutes. what we are going to start the hearing. i apologize to all for the need to shift.
3:31 pm
five boats have been scheduled starting at 10:30 a.m. if we had begun the hearing as it were scheduled originally, we would not have had a hearing du. i appreciate everyone's efforts to advance it. we actually have a grace period of 50 minutes beyond 10:30 a.m., so we have until about 10:45 a.m. or so. that ought to give us an opportunity to get through the testimony and questions adequately. i wish we were not pressed, but the reality is that we are. today, haiti is reeling in the aftermath of what may well be the worst humanitarian catastrophe that the americas had ever seen. well over 100,000 are dead with more dying every day.
3:32 pm
an estimated 1 million haitians are displaced. large parts of port-au-prince and several outlying cities are flat and. an already weakened infrastructure has basically collapsed. the numbers do not explain the horrors that millions of haitians are living through. as we begin to understand the tragedy through stories and images they probably tellus better what this is like. there's a tent city next to a crumbled presidential palace. a haitian child dividing one rationed milk among eight members of his family -- dividing one rationed meal among eight members of his family. a woman rescued after 10 days, too weak to stand but strong enough to sing church hymns she
3:33 pm
was carried out on a stretcher. there were the photographs of the young girl carried out more than two weeks after the earthquake. it is impossible not to be moved by the suffering, but also by the resilience and dignity of the haitian people. it is our duty as neighbors and fellow human beings to respond to this tragedy. that responsibility does not end with the rescue. we need to help haiti to rebuild in a way that leaves haiti better off and better prepared were in the future natural disasters to strike. america and the world of rushed in with as much assistance as the infrastructure has permitted. they quickly deployed rescue teams, food shelter, and several thousand troops. we are well aware of the suffering and heartbreak that has affected the hard-working
3:34 pm
haitian-american community. in my own state of massachusetts, is home to the third largest haitian community in the united states. we must do what we can to help. there has been a tremendous outpouring of generosity from americans and the international community. people have opened their wallets and homes have and have been working closely with dozens of families. we and our staff and working closely with dozens of families in massachusetts to expedite the adoptions of patient orphanage -- haitian orphans that were under way before the earthquake. thousands of haitian children have been displaced by the earthquake. within the formal process. i want to commend countless americans inside government to have made an impressive and even remarkable effort that all this can be proud of.
3:35 pm
i would particularly like to honor a diplomat victoria delong who lost her life and recognize the enormous loss to the united nations. the yuan has made a massive contribution to haiti over the years. -- the u.n. has made a massive contribution to haiti over the years. when the earthquake struck, they lost people on the ground. we extend our condolences to the u.n. and the families of the deceased. we felt that tragic personally in massachusetts. i know personally the agony that her parents are gone through in 1st trying to find out what her fate might be and now, in trying to recover their daughter's body. the task before all of us remains far from over. we must continue the enormous ongoing effort to meet the immediate needs for food, water, shelter, in electricity, and emergency medical care. so far thanks to the u.n. peacekeepers and forces, the
3:36 pm
security fosituation has allowed these things to proceed common. we need to begin reversing the poverty and environmental degradation that plagued haiti long before the tragedy. we cannot be satisfied to simply restore haiti to the unsustainable conditions of the past. on january 11, he too was already the poorest country in the western hemisphere. even before the earthquake, there were 380,000 orphans in haiti. most haitians live on less than $1 per day. one in eight children died before their fifth birthday. 40% not enrolled in school. 120,000 haitians are hiv- positive. rural patients have been plagued by metrician. we need to help patients in educations were build a stable foundation for a stronger and more stable society.
3:37 pm
this is a chance for the haitians to read-imagine the country as they rebuild it. we must use every opportunity to help haiti to improve its living standards. it has duty and quarter free access to markets. has a large pool of labor and the hard-working american diaspora sending money home. 80 was making steps towards recovery when the earthquake -- katie was taking steps towards recovery when the earthquake struck. it will be more sustainable if the government looks at longer- term challenges like environmental devastation and population growth. third, the recovery of haiti must belong to the haitian people. they may need our help today, but they must be empowered to build their own future down the road. president. all -- president preval and. mr. duvivier must lead.
3:38 pm
the democratic institutions must be protected. the long term success depends on a government that inspired its people, truck investment, and marshal resources to provide basic services, security, and the rule of law. some have said that haiti is a lost cause. based on all i know of the haitian people, i could not disagree more. even in the darkest hours after the earthquake, the haitians to report to begin with and then lost everything reached out to help each other. the search for missing neighbors, strangers provided comfort and shelter. they shared their meager food. looting and violence here and there may make headlines, but it is the haitians determination and decency in the face of disaster that will make its future. schools may have collapsed, but the haitian commitment to education will not.
3:39 pm
elizabeth preval, an economist and the wife of the president, urged the people to stand up again and move forward. as they do, america will be there to help. we're fortunate to have with us today three very impressive witnesses with deep knowledge of haiti and the challenge that week and the haitian people face. paul farmer is the u.n. deputy special envoy to haiti. i am proud to call him a friend. he has been a vital source of insight and information to me directly for my daughter, vanessa, assistant in medical school and continues to work closely with him. james dobbins is the director of defense policy. grand -- of defense policy at rand. and finally, our witness can
3:40 pm
speak directly to the enormous challenges that he faces in public health. he is the incoming director of public health for the state of georgia. we welcome all of you and thank you for being here today. let me turn to senator lugar. then we will welcome the testimonies. >> thank you for calling this important hearing on the rescue and recovery, and long-term efforts in haiti. the unimaginable devastation since january 12 is one of the worst natural disasters to confront the western hemisphere in modern history. nearly 3 million people have been affected. authorities estimate that more than 150,000 have perished. my thoughts and all those in this hearing our with those who've suffered loss. the crisis situation in haiti has the potential to
3:41 pm
destabilize security in the caribbean. the social instability in haiti represents a critical concern for the dominican republic. it could have far-reaching implications with deteriorating conditions inducing a mass exodus of haitians by land and sea. immediate action by the united states to provide emergency assistance to haiti was clearly warranted. the heroic efforts of american relief workers and the international team's of first responders are deeply inspiring. i commend the administration and many of my senate colleagues who have worked to advance policies and legislation that will hasten the recovery of haiti. last week, and called on the secretary of homeland security to grant 18 months of temporary protected status for haitian immigrants already residing in our country and to grant visa parole for orphans in the midst of adoption proceedings with american parents.
3:42 pm
the secretary's quick action on both provisions will ensure that many vulnerable children are reunited with loving families and all people of haitian descent in the united states are in a position to contribute to the haitian recovery. a senior economist at the world bank has projected that temporary protected status could generate an additional $360 million in remittances sent to haiti in 2010. and that is on top of the more than $1 billion transferred each year since the 2006. i am working with senator dodd bill that would encourage the imf to provide debt relief to haiti and ensure that the gold sales surpluses are used for low income countries, including haiti. the legislation will explore ways to reinvigorate economic activity in the country by adjusting trade agreements. despite strong support from the
3:43 pm
united states, sustained international participation in haiti is vital for its recovery. it is especially important that the international community provide assistance to the haitian people. the failure and corruption of past asian governments contributed greatly to the stress felt by the haitian people before the earthquake and the limitations of the current government constrain the prospects for recovery. these harsh realities are compounded by the significant loss of life that is weakened the government and other institutions in haiti. this compelled the international community to consider creative measures. because of the devastation, 8 haiti's condition is that of a failed state. we must support the haitian government until the country is stable and less dislocated. this would include the provision
3:44 pm
of food and shelter, reconstruction activities, budgetary affairs, security, and other aspects vital to the haitian people. the united nations has the credibility and capacity to perform that role. the relationship between the united nations and the haitian government should be consensual, cooperative to preserve patients' participation in decisions while ensuring that the resources and expertise of the international community are brought to bear on the daily problems of haiti. if you in place an increased role, i believe the haitians will more quickly gather their bearings and begin to rebuild their lives and country. a top priority must be developing and implementing a plan to resettle temporarily the millions of internally displaced people from port-au-prince as little to offer.
3:45 pm
food, water, and shelter must be delivered in earnest to these resettlement areas. i would encourage the obama administration to coordinate haitian-american volunteers into hometown associations, small groups of volunteers in the united states were linked wh their former home towns and institutions in haiti. members can serve as interpreters, support a temporary resettlement of refugees, and provide assistance to patients evacuated to the united states for medical treatment not available on the island. the haitian-american community is eager to be involved in the recovery of haiti. much greater coordination is required to put the skills to full use. our government should explore ways to partner with ngo's and existing social networking platforms like facebook to facilitate the coordination. organizing will increase our ability to leverage the flow of the more than $1 billion
3:46 pm
remitted from the united states. i look forward to the insights of our very distinguished panel of witnesses and the innovative recommendations on strategies for moving haiti forward. thank you, mr. chairman. >> i want to welcome the senator on the occasion of her 29th birthday. [laughter] thank you for being truthful. we appreciate that. we're delighted to welcome all the members of the panel. with such admiration for the work you have been engaging with in partners and help their, africa, and elsewhere. all of you have been contributing to the dialogue on haiti. forward to your testimony. we will be going to mr. dobbins and mr. francois.
3:47 pm
>> thank you for having me to testify. and speaking for the special envoy but also as a physician and teacher from harvard who has worked 25 years in rural haiti, my hope today is to do justice not by chronicling the events of the last two weeks, but by attesting to the possibility of hope for the country and the importance of meaningful investments and sustainable development in haiti. i will not pretend tobin is not difficult to muster. as i was coming year -- i will not pretend that hope is not difficult to muster. i would ask that my colleagues -- what would it be like to look around you and see every federal building collapse -- the white house, all of them, and that is what we have seen in haiti, and as i was flying up here from
3:48 pm
port-au-prince to montreal, heading to a conference on coordinating responses to this earthquake, i did the painful math and counted close to 60 colleagues and friends and family members who have lost their lives in the span of a minute. most of the earth -- most of them were in port-au-prince for a meeting on disaster risk reduction. partners in the sister organization provide health to the rural poor by focusing on training and employing local talents. we have grown a great deal over the years. we are currently serving more than 1.2 million and count 5000 employees, most of them community health workers. not all our colleagues survive, but the vast majority did survive and spent the last two weeks working day and night to
3:49 pm
ease the suffering of the wounded and displays. my colleagues have been in port- au-prince as well as the less affected areas. ever where, we have seen great acts of bravery and solidarity. in addition to the heroism of friends and colleagues, i would like to note the dignity and patients of the -- suffering haitian people. during a visit last week to the sister campus, president clinton remarks no other people would be so patient and calm in the face of so much suffering. this must not be misunderstood. people in haiti are afraid, not only for their options and futures, but for their safety. a few nights ago, we sat in and the medical wards, hearing in a
3:50 pm
after shocks, the patient's blood outside with ivies from their arms. -- burst outside with iv's attach to their arms. they refused to sleep inside. this is a reminder of the logistics challenges facing all those who would be involved in the provision of shelter, clean water, and health care. the relief efforts focus now on the initial wave of -- focusing on the initial wave will soon turn to new concerns. the camps are at risk of cholera and other waterborne diseases. the haitian government has opposed huge dams that will be difficult to manage, but we must focus our efforts to get latrines or contacting toilets to haiti. it is humbling to see the relief
3:51 pm
effort be so slow, in large part because the delivery of services was so weak before the quake. now we must -- we must do much more to get food and water to people every day for some time to come, creating safe schools and hospitals, and store resistant housing must also be a carefully considered priorities since there is little time before the rainy season. students need to be back in school. the planning season cannot be missed and requires fertilizer, seeds, and tools. how will we find such settlements, the reconstruction that must follow? major pledges will be made by the united states, canada, japan, brazil, the european union, the world bank, and others. most countries have responded to haiti's polite, even in once
3:52 pm
afflicted rwanda, a group of health workers making less than $200 a month have been able to pull together $7,000 in donations for their colleagues in haiti. this is a small portion of the billions needed, but hard to surpass as an eloquent testimony of human solidarity. i will make two points. even one such resources are available, the task before us will be -- even when such resources are available, the task before us will be difficult. haiti is facing an acute and chronic problem. before this, the country was solid -- already facing long- term problems and an unemployment rate of almost 70% and a majority of population living on less than $2 a day. food and water were already large problems.
3:53 pm
does this catastrophe present a chance to have a sounder, more solidarity-based relationship with haiti, or is it yet to be another chapter in suffering and abuse of power. in my last testimony here, i expressed concern that the latter possibility was likely , given the policies of our time. i would like to conclude we're opening the possibility for a different way of interacting with haiti. that said, let me say i have attended only two donor conferences, both about haiti. the last one is in montreal. the first one is in washington, less than a year ago. the results are noteworthy and worries some -- worry some.
3:54 pm
despite the pledge to support the economic recovery program, after the hurricane that destroyed 15% of gdp, it was estimated by my co-workers of the un that a mere $61 million had been disbursed. we have been tracking the disbursement -- 85% of the pledges made a year ago and are not dispersed. many of us worry if past is prologue, haitians themselves will be to blame for this, but as we have argued before, there are serious problems in the aid machinery, and these have contributed to the delivery challenges on the ground. the aid machinery currently at work keeps too much for overhead for its operations and still realize too much on ngos or contractors -- still relies too much on ngos or contractors. the fact that there are more
3:55 pm
indio's per capita in haiti than any other country in this hemisphere reaching more ngos -- more ngos in haiti it than any other country -- 80 will need the contractors and ngos -- haiti will lead the contractors and ngos. we will need new ground rules, including a demand to create more local jobs for haitians, and building an infrastructure crucial to creating sustainable economic growth and ultimately reducing haiti's dependent on aid. what we need is a way of building back and strengthening government but also strengthening the haitian economy to provide for the needs of its people, especially the vast majority of haitians who are desperately poor. there is an opportunity not only to build a be back better but to
3:56 pm
build a more functional and beneficial -- to build haiti but better but also to build a more functional and beneficial society. in building by cady, a credible body that has been working in 80 such -- in '80, a credible body could -- in haiti, a credible body could help. body could help. haiti needs of banks to such an account to be managed with partnership with the u.n. and haitian leadership. it would work openly and directly with partners to design and implement recovery plans coordinated at central and local levels. the effort must improve a comprehensive post-disaster needs assessment, which should be supported by the united states and other partners.
3:57 pm
in some of the darkest moments of the last two weeks, when the incapacity and lack of coordination of institutions on the ground was repeatedly revealed to me, i thought often of rwanda and what happened there in 1994. as a physician and teacher at harvard, i have been lucky to work with the partners of the health foundation and the government there to build the health infrastructure in the last three of four districts that lacked hospitals. they're now all built. as in haiti, this has been a very positive experience. it has resulted in thousands of jobs and created broadly accessible health care infrastructure, all with a modest price tag compared to traditional contractors. if such progress can be made in rwanda that was the poorest country of this appears in 1994, and one hopes it can be made elsewhere.
3:58 pm
i will close because i have gone over. if there is any silver lining to this cloud, it is that we can push job creation. it is a strange irony that supporters of economic assistance to haiti are now obliged to shill for cash to work programs with the quaint notion that people must be paid to work. it is a surge to argue that volunteerism will create -- it is absurd to argue that volunteerism will create jobs. if we set the ground rules, we will be able to create sustainable jobs. as a doctor, i can tell you that bad infrastructure and thought was policy are visible in the bodies of the poor, just as the benefits of good policy and well-designed infrastructure. in my almost 30 years in haiti, i have witnessed many political interventions and multiple coups.
3:59 pm
they have been unpleasant even if the effects pail and shovel we're now experiencing. many look at haiti in despair. they say that the aid is wasted and that there is no hope for the country. i would answer them by saying that this is not true. if we focus the reconstruction efforts appropriately, we can achieve long-term benefits for haiti. putting haitians back to work and offering them the dignity that comes with having a job and its basic protections is exactly what brought our country out of the great depression. thank you very much. >> mr. dobbins? >> the history of prior interventions must install a sense of caution on the prospects of working any real
4:00 pm
transformation there. as a candidate for assistance, haiti has many advantages over other fragile states. most of the other sorts of states are surrounded by conflict prone and predatory neighbors. haiti, in contrast, sits in a relative zone of peace and prosperity. all of its neighbors are much richer. none have any interest in the stabilizing haiti or inhibiting its development. haiti is not/competing ethnic or religious groups. haitians have a strong sense of national identity and no serious sectarian divide. it has a large and relatively prosperous diaspora, many of whom are located no great distance and enjoy a frequent contact with their families on the island. he does have certain inherited advantages. -- haiti does have certain inherited the manages. i think there are three new
4:01 pm
conditions that suggest this time around we may do better than we have the last few. first of all, the final departure of the president in 2004 has greatly diminished partisan rancor in port-au- prince and washington. . . divided rancor. at the moment when clinton and bush are campaigning together, one might hope the american divide has close. second, the outpouring of sympathy as a result of the earthquake seems likely to yield substantial increase in american and international aid levels. more money means more assistance, but it also means more leverage to promote change. finally, the very immensity of finally, the very immensity of the recent disaster has administered a shot to the haitian political structure that can help ease resistance to reform and undermine
4:02 pm
longstanding barriers to progress within haiti. my own experience dates back to the american intervention of 1994. this was one of five nation building operations, with which i became associated, including somalia early in the day did -- early in the decade and finally, afghanistan. since leaving office, i have had an opportunity to reflect not only on the american experience but other u.n. operations with which the united states was not closely associated, so i would like to add a number of proposed guidelines based on that experience of the last 60 years in these kinds of fried chiles states. first, security is an -- these kinds of states. first, security is essential. in absence of security, any positive changes will be washed away, so the bad news is an
4:03 pm
international security presence is going to be required for a long time. the good news is that haiti is not a particularly difficult society to secure. contrary to popular image, the haitian government is the their heavily armed or inclined to go violence. one must also -- only observe the patients they have recognized over the past weeks to see the peaceful character. haiti is no iraq or afghanistan. american troops are unlikely to be required once the immediate emergency passes. i think the united nations should be able to secure haiti successfully with modest reinforcements that have already been authorized. i do think the united states should consider increasing the assignment of american police officers to the un police contingent there. we have a unique attribute to
4:04 pm
draw on, which is a number of haitian american police of a surge in big cities like miami and -- police officers in big cities like miami and new york and elsewhere i think can provide valuable contribution to the u.n. police force helping to secure haiti. the second lesson drawn from these operations is the stabilization and reconstruction operations take time. the 1994 american-led intervention was the case in point. that operation was almost entirely successful in its own terms, but those were much too narrow. in launching the intervention, president clinton promised to restore the freely elected president and to keep american troops in haiti only long enough to organize new elections and to inaugurate a new president. he promised to do all this within two years. this, his and ministration proceeded to do, hitting every
4:05 pm
benchmark, achieving a retarded, and suffering almost no casualties, but two years was too short a time to fix a society as troubled as haiti, and the intervention accomplished little of value. the recent reconstruction operations have been lasting eight to 10 years. the current operation began in 2004, but i think we basically have to set the clock back to zero and assume the un peacekeeping forces going to be required for another decade at least. third, in a post-conflict environment, economic and political reform need to be evaluated not just for social justice but on our capacity to ease tension and promote reconciliation among long hall style groups. this means programs to relieve poverty -- long hostile groups. this means relief will be part of the larger effort.
4:06 pm
fourth, assistance should be focused on building a more competent and efficient state. this is probably my most important message. 80 possible your ability to natural disaster is not just -- haiti's problem was not just weak infrastructure but having a weak state that cannot provide security, power, and education to the majority of its population. large amounts of american aid and other donor money are going to flow into haiti in the coming weeks, and the temptation will be to spend most of it on american and foreign ngos that can deliver service with good accountability, but this sort of a believe snow region leaves no capacity to sustain. the second priority will be --
4:07 pm
this sort of thing leaves no capacity to sustain. aide also needs to be directed on a priority basis towards enhancing he the's capacity to govern itself. -- haiti's capacity to govern itself. this means programs to train staff and provide information systems and other support services needed to maximize their efficiency. haiti needs to rebuild from the bottom up as well as the top down. it is not just port-au-prince. it is the rural populations. it is not just government ministries. it is creating the capacity to penetrate and deliver services at local level and promote development of local leadership, local council, and provide them the wherewithal to assist their constituents. 6, the u.s. government needs to
4:08 pm
organize themselves for a sustained high intensity effort. i would suggest the president and secretary of state should take a single individual with power similar to that which holbrooke possesses for afghanistan. they should have new money and a single account, unencumbered by earmarks and then work as part of an oversight process with whomever of the administration designates to make sure the money is well spent. 7, it is important the international program for reform of haitian institutions not bear a made in washington imprint. i believe the united states should work to establish conditions and insists those conditions are met through institutions like the united
4:09 pm
nations and the world bank. we should help those institutions target reforms that are feasible and essential and set the conditions which will use the leverage assistance provides to get those reforms effectuated, and the u.s. should work quietly behind the scenes, use its political influence to make sure the haitian institutions to adopt those reforms and embrace them. the u.s. should be contributing directly and substantially to both un and world bank efforts. i would suggest an addition would be the united nations continuing to take the lead in reforming securities sector in supporting elections and promoting political reform while the world bank takes the lead in supporting economic and social reforms. finally, there are a couple of things the united states is uniquely positioned to do by its proximity. these involve trade and
4:10 pm
immigration. you already mentioned the preferential access haiti has to the market. i suggest we essentially set the clock back to zero and assume that access begins as of today rather then when it actually went into affect, and second, i suggest the united states should consider a temporary increase in family unification emigration to the united states. haitian society may be economically dysfunctional, but haitian immigrants prove to be hard-working, law-abiding members of our society, even as their one of the largest sources of support for those believe find in haiti. every dollar they send to relatives in haiti is a dollar that does not need to come from
4:11 pm
the u.s. taxpayer. >> thank you. those are very thoughtful suggestions. >> good morning. >> can you push the money on your -- there you go. >> good morning. my name is dr. i will be the dic health. i want to do thank you. my testimony will focus on the following. economic goals of long-term path to recovery. economic damages of an earthquake this large is a
4:12 pm
challenge to any country, but when it occurs in one of the most fragile countries, it seems destructive in the vast landscape of feeble structures. the estimated mortality is about 200,000. there are about 40,000 missing americans. the number of missing is 4 million. the number affected is 3 million. the damage is difficult to qualify. my mother and father in law lost everything. ferguson -- fortunately, they were in the united states with me when this occurred. the critical needs our food and water, medical care, temporary shelters, security, and sanitation. in terms of diet, the most vulnerable groups are new york -- newborns and infants who require attention. the capital city problems
4:13 pm
continue to grow as people do not have access to goods. if resources are not more strategically distributed, the security situation on the ground could rapidly deteriorate. medical teams must also remain vigilant. respite trade affections and typhoid -- thousands more -- respiratory affections and typhoid could kill thousands more if steps are not taken to mitigate risks. the immediate goals -- in light of over 50 aftershocks with magnitude of 4.0 or greater, it is -- the structure of homes and buildings as critical for the future of the population. before entering the u.s. and earning his doctorate degree in structural engineering, specializing in salvation and water resources, my brother carl water resources, my brother carl worked as an engineer in port- building codes at that time did
4:14 pm
not exist. construction practices were geared to withstand hurricane wind forces, not earthquakes. in order to forecast rubble removal and disposal, it is important to look to the models and lessons learned after the september 11 destruction at the world trade center, after hurricane katrina's devastation of the gulf coast states. the lessons learned can be recycled. ensuring proper drainage of rain water would be a big undertaking. water will be a massive water will be a massive undertaking there needs to be a drastic reduction of old construction. the existing system was already obsolete and did not seem to rely on accurate data.
4:15 pm
it must be anticipated that the majority of the structures have sustained irreversible damage. the waterworks and sewer structures gauge against engineering standards were already inadequate. construction from scratch might be considered. the source of water supply may be adjusted after the evaluation of the capacity, an inventory of other reserves through groundwater hydrology. another viable option is to tap into the bay of port-au-prince and go three desalinization plant. long-term reconstruction and development -- decentralization away from port-au-prince must be a primary goal.
4:16 pm
this earthquake has already triggered an exodus of the population to various parts of haiti. foundation of this new health system and foster the widespread training of health promoters. improvements in literacy should also remain central to any development efforts. i would like to share a few of the recommendations of the haiti advisor regroup created by executive order by the former florida gov. jeb bush. the group consisted of 17 asian americans with significant experience in haitian issues. they formally -- 17 haitian americans with significant experience in haitian issues. this included a wide range of problematic issues that fall and the following categories -- security recommendations,
4:17 pm
economic development, disaster preparedness. although florida was the main partner of these projects, i propose these recommendations be adopted by the united nations. examples include creation of a dedicated professional exchange program with the government of haiti. this would allow volunteers, utilizing vast skills, to travel to haiti and provide technical assistance and training. the objective of the program would be to provide haitian participants with the assistance, knowledge, skills, and resources they need to work more effectively in their respective field and build greater capacity within haitian institutions. he produces only about 80 physicians each year. what will happen to medical students already enrolled? how will they create their studies? will opportunities to study abroad be made available? a sharp increase in doctors
4:18 pm
creates the formula. the international community should yielded great expertise in public safety to assist the growth of the haitian national police. the united nations could sponsor a mission in which representatives of haitian businesses can travel abroad to meet their counterparts. the promotion of economic opportunities for haitian product would be goals. united nations should begin to assist industry and tourism in its plan to retarget tourism, marketing campaigns, and other visitors to their country as tourists in order to discover its natural beauty and historic attractions. haiti's infrastructure is exponentially more vulnerable to hurricane-produced disasters like mudslides and flooding.
4:19 pm
hurricane season begins june 1, and immediate action must be taken to mitigate potential risks. the united nations should deploy it experience -- employ its assistance in order to your -- for this agency to develop appropriate disaster management and infrastructure and training. in closing, i extend fervent prayers to all those who are affected by the earthquake as well as to the first responders who came from near and far. i also want to and acknowledge the magnanimous generosity of those who have contributed to the relief efforts in haiti. as we move forward, the united states and the international community must insure that investments made in rebuilding haiti are actually carried out through community-based
4:20 pm
organizations, faith-based organizations and non-profit organizations. my personal hope is that a new generation of leaders will emerge from these ashes to selflessly leave haiti on a new path of prosperity through longevity, hard work, transparency, perseverance, and true democracy. thank you. >> thank you very much, dr. francois. thank you, all of you, for helping lay out the magnitude of the challenge here, and you put a lot of ideas on the table about things we need to think about. in the time for we have, i think if we do 7 minute rounds, every one ought to have the opportunity to ask questions, and if i can ask you to keep the answer is tied -- income was everything you want to, but we're going to try to cover a
4:21 pm
broad swath here if we can. on a personal note, let me just say, dr. farmer, i want to thank you for the example of opportunity you have shown my daughter, who i know values enormous and the relationship working with you, and i want to thank you for that. let me begin -- i want to come back to the framework you raised about rules of the road, and i think it is important to look at that, but let me ask you quickly about an immediate challenge. there is a lot of concern about access to food in haiti and whether or not there are adequate levels being appropriately distribute it, and wfp is requesting emergency funds to feed people, flooding food into the arena. can you speak quickly to this question of adequacy of food and
4:22 pm
assess food distribution efforts? >> thank you, mr. senator. in the short term, it is difficult to think of an alternative to wfp and, which has been determined capacity. it is hard to find groups that might have the procurement capacity, other than the ones by my colleagues. that will also allow people to buy their own food. at the same time, the rules of the road -- i would go back to those, even for a group. good for example, how can we focus on local procurement of foodstuffs so that food in sick -- food and security in haiti is not heightened by the huge but necessary influx from abroad, and i could give one small example from our own work in central haiti, which i have shared with my colleagues. we have the proper treatment for malnutrition for children, and
4:23 pm
we grow peanuts mostly, but it can be other grains as well, and made essentially peanut butter, which is a readily used therapeutic food with vitamins. right there in local food processing plants in central haiti, and we have gotten the wfp to support that, and if we ramp up production in a moment like this, if we get the right kind of mold of vitamins and other things needed, we will have done several things at once. one, we will have responded to the acute need, which is extreme. it is very upsetting how hungry people are now. no. 2 -- we will have local produce from farmers. number three, we will create jobs, and it is not unthinkable
4:24 pm
for processing plants could be scaled up to needs elsewhere, so i think the rules of the road still should include what is your plan for local job creation, how can we linked our short-term interventions to long-term interventions? >> that raises the question of how you get from here to there. some say it would be great to ramp up production. it would be great to gauge the local community. who is going to do this? one thing that has struck me as we deal with various hot spots is who is coordinating this overall effort. who is going to say you have to get the debris out of here and here is the rebuilt, and you began to organize all that. there are a lot of free actors
4:25 pm
floating around. can you speak to this question about who is going to both direct and enforce these rules of the road, and how do we get the kind of coordination necessary to make sure we are shifting to a haitian solution as fast as possible? >> i am sure my colleagues have thoughts on this as well, but i would say the way we do this is to actually write it into the rules of the road as a condition for some of our aid -- not a condition for recipients but a condition for donors. some of the problems if you go from the marshall plan, which you have talked about many times over the last few years -- if you go from the marshall plan to some of the legislation written by the senate from 1961 until now, you will see the rise of a class of contractors who can
4:26 pm
provide useful services that are difficult to obtain. that is true, but i think of we shift the rules formally and said this aid is dependent on our reforming ourselves, so i think part of it is in your hands. on the ground what i saw -- it is very possible -- i have been bemoaning the lack of coordination, but what i am seeing is going from chaos to chaos to a little bit more coordination, so the u.n. is trying to coordinate along lines of the health cluster, and the structure is the merging. i think it is probably the necessary structure. most of this is having on port- au-prince, but there are 10 districts in haiti and, 10
4:27 pm
departments. there needs to be a locally- driven process there. this may not be a popular thing to say, but in 1995, when rwanda laid down the law, saying if you as an ngo wish to work here, you have to fit into our development plans, it is estimated by some that half of the ngos left rwanda in a half. there were all sorts of - critiques, but many say they were right to push forward a tough line. some of it is going to be in your hands, and some of it is going to be in the hands of the un, and part of it is going to be in the hands of local government. >> what are your thoughts about the rules? >> i think it is useful to make a distinction between the relief phase. if there is one thing international community does well, it is disaster relief. it looks messy when a thousand
4:28 pm
different organizations -- ngos, governments, and international organizations all show up, but it works, and it works remarkably well, and it is working in haiti. that does not really require fixing, in my view. it requires resources, but people are generous, and it is the best resource the international community does. you then have the question of moving to recovery and driving that towards institutional reforms that will make future relief operations less necessary. that does require more hierarchical structure. i think the united states needs to help design such an effort, and it needs to drive such an effort, but it should not be the flight on which that effort is put. -- flag always the effort is
4:29 pm
put. i think the world bank is the logical focus for planning and conditioning and assistance across the economic and social spectrum. >> thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to ask your comments following up on the thought of who is in charge and how government is to proceed by citing an interesting poll that appears in "the miami herald" this morning, and it is the headline, "haitian americans decided -- dissatisfied with the response to disaster." if found 63% of 400 haitian americans in a poll conducted in creole and english, disapproved of how the haitian president's government has responded. the unhappiness runs so deep that a majority of haitian americans support the united
4:30 pm
nations and international community taking over day-to- day operations until haiti recoveries from ) br@ @ @ @ @ @' 96% of people approved what we're doing, 88% of the united nations. two-thirds of haitian americans polled are so concerned that they're willing to move back to haiti temporarily in order to assist reconstruction. i just mention this as the basis for, first of all, there is some precedent that haitian americans have been happy with the united states response in the past. secondly, the united nations, and the thought that it is not a material that it takes charge. they point out that their president is not a good
4:31 pm
communicator. communicator, has not addressed the nation. the fact remains he is their leader, and the haitian government has to be reconsidered -- restructured in some form, even if the united nations and united states take control and provide these services. this is all profits for asking for your judgments politically. what is going to occur? the common stock is this has been a disaster, but it will remain a disaster because of lack of political sophistication or abilities or rapport with the haitian people, and here is a place in which the american and haitians are saying we are so concerned, we are going to move back in large numbers for a while to try to bring some relief to the process. do any of you have any thoughts about the government's question?
4:32 pm
yes? >> senator lugar, essentially my thought is about the analogy of how we respond to the tragedy or hurricane here in the united states. what happens is if it is in florida or louisiana, we may ask the federal government for help, and likewise, haiti is now in dire need of an international response. what is different is the infrastructure and plans that are in place in almost every state is that you have an infrastructure for the federal government can come in and insert itself to support that response.
4:33 pm
the framework is totally absent. in 2006, the secretary of health for florida -- we made a public health mission trip to engage the leadership about preparedness, and you can tell from the lack of response that we were not taken up on that offer, so essentially, i think that because of that lack of existing infrastructure, you really need a coordination of -- for example, from the united nations to sort of lead that response. that makes it more difficult, because the folks coming in did not know the terrain, which that knowledge could have been facilitated by existing plans on the ground, which again, are non-existent.
4:34 pm
>> [inaudible] >> i did not think probably the rest of your constituencies are going to support that, so i do not think we have any option but to try to rebuild the haitian state structure, one that is more resilience, more capable than what we had today or a year ago, and therefore, i do believe state building is the core mission of the post-relief phase. >> thank you, senator. in "the washington post," it says 80 government gets minimal aid. less than a penny is send to leadership per dollar. that is true. none of this money is going to
4:35 pm
the government, and i just want a few vignettes on whether that would be -- and whether that would be effective or not i do not know. it is not my area of expertise, but a few examples from the last two weeks in haiti -- before the hurricane, looking at the budgets of money going to the un presence there -- the budget for i.t. international -- information technology was larger than the combined budget of the health and administration together -- help and education together. what we were told the roads were blocked and no one was there, that was not true. the roads were not blocked, and the director of public health was at his post, but he had no tools to ended -- to do anything, and right after the
4:36 pm
recent earthquake, i was with the minister of communication. she did not have a phone. i give her my phone. these absurdities go on and on. when we got to the general hospital late at night, at 10:00 that night, we found the director of the hospital and the director of nursing, who had just had a branch of the day before and who have lost her family and home. -- just had a grandchild the day before who had lost their family and home, but they were there. i would say in addition to opprobrious skepticism about the capacity of the now devastated government to it in the -- implements, we also need a healthy dose of skepticism regarding the way our aid has been funneled exclusively to the non-government sector. >> more aid should go to
4:37 pm
government officials in addition to the ngos. >> thank you very much, and i am going to ask that opening comments be made available. >> to you, dr. former, we thank you immensely, and i commend him for his work elsewhere. jim dobbins and i have worked over the years, and i want to pick up on this whole point. prior to the events of two weeks ago and having grappled and work that haiti and going back to my peace corps days, even absent what occurred in the past two weeks -- haiti is not a failed state, and on countless occasions, those of us on this committee and elsewhere have were various times to provide assistance, and we have had the obstacle of refusing to provide assistance to governments that were questionable in their
4:38 pm
effectiveness or level of corruption's that existed in haiti, so in a way, i think the point of dealing with immediate problems, of seeing to it we are getting resources to get people through this time, and while -- well to suggest the idea that given the magnitude of this tragedy, this gives an opportunity to do things people have talked about for decades but in various ways were unable suit grapple with it, and that is to talk about the long-term viability of this country to become self-sufficient, and that as the opportunity i think we can offer, not just to our country, but the community as large, and the question is how we do this. we ought not to get into the debate as to whether we ought to continue to provide immediate needs, but i think we need to get into this discussion quickly about how we're going to emerge from this tragedy with the
4:39 pm
operation to do things that we would never have been able to achieve before. it almost suggests -- if u.s. me the question who should i call in haiti, if -- if you asked me the question who should i call in haiti, there really is no one to talk to. while we are wandering around trying to provide assistance, so we are introducing legislation that deals with these issues -- and you talked about barriers of trade and debt issues. these may not sound like much, but they go to the heart of it, getting to the question of how we can start to provide work. we're not suggesting today that -- i do not know that we are not -- why we are not suggesting people going to work cleaning up rubble. they can create income just to create arteries to get to people at this point.
4:40 pm
things can be done to give economic hope. is it too well to suggest talking about some sort of receivership. if this were any sort of -- any other entity, we would talk about it being bankrupt, and to not only provide immediate relief but also to start to provide the assistance, it goes right back to where it was before. the handful of entities in haiti that have run the show for years, small group of families around the country. we all know that. i think we're going to roll right into that situation again, but the conditions will be worse. what about the idea of an international receivership in haiti so we can start to provide that kind of support and assistance to rebuild or
4:41 pm
construct a set of institutions to provide for their own self sufficiency? >> there is certainly precedents for that. we have set a provisional administration inco's a vote, -- in kosovo and one or to other situations like that. we have done that in cases where there was no local government but where we overthrew the local government. i do not know of any in which we displays an existing government that was universally recognized, so i think it would be controversial and difficult to simply impose an international administration in haiti. unless there was a pretty clear demand within haiti for that
4:42 pm
kind of -- . oooooooooooooooo there are precedents, it has been done, but frankly, we do not do this all that well. the un missions in kosovo and east timor have been successful, but they have had difficulties. this is not easy to do, so i do tend to think that a supportive role, clearly the international community will be providing most of the public services in haiti. they already were before the conflict, but went -- whether you want to formalize that, i
4:43 pm
would be little skeptical. >> i think that given the extremity of the circumstances, i would not be surprised if you would hear support on the streets in haiti the same way he did among haitian americans. i think there must be another way to do this accompaniments of an extremely fragile civil service and government. the problem as we have discussed is all the seesawing policy over the last two decades. it has taken a toll. if the policy is we are going to bypass completely the public infrastructures and only support -- we are harvesting
4:44 pm
some of that now. that is why the government was week before january 12. i am not qualified to comment on receivership. i do not know enough about it. i think there'll be resistance to that, and i think we can find a means of a compliment. the example of gainful employment for the hundreds of thousands of people who need employment. i am troubled by the title cash for work, because it is so absurd. we were to put significant amounts of our support into cash for work programs around watershed protection, agricultural endeavors, and make sure there's gender equity or focus on women in these efforts, we could have substantial transfer of
4:45 pm
resources to the poor and needy, and if we do that with an eye towards strengthening the local government structure, i think that would be better received. people are at the end of the rope, as you said. >> my only comment would be to refer to the group that was put together. as i mentioned in my testimony, those recommendations are very much alive and could be very useful as we move forward. >> i want to thank our witnesses. my sense is that haiti is a place where we have an opportunity. there is universal support for the people of haiti. all of us in some form or fashion have been touched by haiti. i can absolutely say i would not be in the united states senate today without having been
4:46 pm
to haiti in 1982. i know there are americans all across the country that have been involved there and certainly are touched and saddened by what has occurred. there are several people who have been involved. it seems like we have an opportunity to get this right. i appreciate the analysis that has been given and also appreciate the comments by my friend in connecticut. i have said there is no question in my mind that we need to do whatever is necessary right now as far as resources. there is no question that all of our efforts in the past in some ways to undermine the government because every volunteer group, every ngo does what they do
4:47 pm
despite the government. that is what everybody does. why think the notion of building the government up in some form or fashion is a bad concept. i think your reference to rwanda is a great example of what can happen. as i listened to the very good analysis from mr. dobbins, and still have difficulties understanding how we can transition from what we all need to do and what ever it takes now to would it takes for heydey to take the lead. for a period of time, it was more draconian than us working behind the scenes. those sorts of things are going to be necessary.
4:48 pm
i find it very difficult to find -- to believe that with the type of haiti -- with the type of leadership that he has had, they have flourished under good government. government has been a disaster there for generations. unfortunately, it has held wonderful people back from reaching their potential. i sense that we are going to have to do far more draconian things to get the country to function. i wish you expend as a bit more. the concepts are great. i just do not know how you get from a to b. there are tremendous opportunities. you can change cities and other places i don't think they will
4:49 pm
ever have the ability to do it in the short term. >> we are superimposing a pretty thin recovery -- a recovery effort on top of it reconstruction effort. we have about $1 billion per year in assistance since 2004 which was actually beginning to make a difference. there are reform programs that were agreed internationally with the haitian government. they are in place and are beginning to have an effect.
4:50 pm
we have to evaluate whether they are doing more ambitious reforms that could be put into place as a result of the greater flexibility of the haitian system created by this disaster and the additional resources. we need to evaluate the new ideas. we need to make sure the new operation operates synergistic laly with the old structures tht were set up. people need to be made responsible for the overall american policy toward haiti and toward integrating that policy with other governments representing the haitian and working with the congress. i think the congress needs to provide that with the resources necessary and the flexibility
4:51 pm
and targets. in the question of infrastructure, brick and mortar stuff, our experience in iraq suggests that building things for people is of little enduring value. if you do not have a contractual plan in which there is a funding stream for maintaining that infrastructure once you build it, we built a lot of electric plants in iraq, they are not charging for electricity. since there were not charging, there was no stream of income -- the stream of money to maintain those plans. they need a resource stream to sustain the project. we need people that know how to do these things. we need them to take the lead and set the criteria and establish the conditionality and use our political influence and money to make sure those conditions are met.
4:52 pm
>> thank you. we very seldom have a way to make a lot of difference. i hate to say it on this committee. i hope that somehow or another, we will keep a focus -- >> i hope you are speaking for yourself. >> you have done a great job with karzai. this is an opportunity for us to make sure that more draconian steps are taken and said if they steps that have yielded little results. >> i could not agree with you more. i cannot disagree with you at all. this is a moment and it will take a tough hand. >> i noticed the vote has not gone off. and to set fashion, which are drifting along here.
4:53 pm
-- in truth senate fashion, we are drifting along here. >> i'd prefer to look at this as an opportunity to finish my questions. i.t. why for being here and for your insights. -- thank you for your being here a year and says. my first question before i ask more about the long term, if each of you are satisfied that everything is currently being done that can be done with the short-term relief efforts, dr. former, you talk about how slow the relief efforts are and to a great extent that is because of the lack of infrastructure.
4:54 pm
is there more than should be done right now to address those relief efforts? >> thank you. i think there is a mismatch between the degree of interest and resources that we as a nation are putting in and the ability to observe that which is the fruit of failed policies in the past. in the middle of an emergency, you are not going to spend a lot of time on diagnosing the problem. i would suggest there is more that we can do but it does carry specific things. bring in surgeons but you also need supplies and long-term nursing. if i could bring this back to our previous discussion, i used the word accompaniment. if we have the patience, even for the relief work which is not going to be over in the next few weeks, if we have the patience
4:55 pm
to accompany properly the various actors on the ground including church groups and nog'go's but also the remnants f the haitian public sector, we will have the word. if you had a division of labor and the international financial institutions like the world bank and you said to the ngo's that part of your job is to help this shattered infrastructure back. 85% of schooling in haiti as private. if you look back, that is why haitians are not a very literate. they are lottery schools because you take your chances when you go there.
4:56 pm
not just building codes but curriculum. that is the wing to take patients. -- that is going to take patience. for the first 15 years of my engagement, we did not to this the right way. we had a lot of good will. rebuild a hospital. i was there sunday morning. it was spotless. people had been tended to and the beds for full. i was very proud and all of us are. what we really needed to do which is what we did over the last decade is how we can do the same thing in the public health sector with the ministry of health. so we did. recruited thousands of jobs and rebuild this public hospitals. that is a modus operandi that i and doors because it addresses the lack of ability and the public sector.
4:57 pm
it is more difficult of agriculture because those are privately held fields. at least for education, ngo's need to do this. support the weak public sector. a colleague passed me a note that says the haitian government is looking for $3 million for run to pay off the space. all of their federal buildings collapsed. that is a transition to the private investment part. haiti does not want to be dependent upon foreign aid any more than rwanda does. their vision for development is called vision 2020. by then, they want no foreign aid going into rwanda. behalfs last fall, -- >> last fall, all of the hotels and port-au-prince were fooled by
4:58 pm
people coming down to get hotel rooms that wanted to invest in haiti. i think there is good news out there if we can marshal our resources. >> to follow up, and to go back to what i think each of you are saying, as you look at longer terms, is the first priority governance? who should look to take responsibility to do that? is it the international community? is it the united nations? is it oversight from this committee? and the state department? as oppression from the asian american community? american community?
4:59 pm
>> the general political support of the parliament, i think the un is the best place to do that. in terms of resuscitating ministries like the education and transportation and agriculture ministries, it is probably somebody else. it may vary. a single country may decide to fund public education in haiti. japan or the united states or someone else will say that is our sector, we will do public education. it has to fit in a broader framework, or the world bank may take a major ministry or recreating downtown port-au- prince as their focus, and become the main funder and coordinator of other funders in that.
5:00 pm
i think a division of labour should be the primary institutions. i think the united states can be very influential, but an american czar who sits in haiti in makes these decisions would be counterproductive. >> let me thank our witnesses. i think this is been a very helpful hearing. congress is looking at our foreign aid programs in order to use foreign aid more effectively in carrying out u.s. objectives internationally. in a previous hearing, i raised the issue on gender issues to help many of the countries we do business with. the record on gender equality is very poor. how can we focus our foreign aid program to be more effective in carrying out that objective? we look at haiti and look at
5:01 pm
our previous commitments in that country, we were not terribly successful as it relates to the governance issue. .. in that country, we were not terribly successful as it relates to governance issues. am for encouraged by the progress being made in rwanda. how we learn from our experiences so that we are not only focused on what needs to be done in haiti for the point of view of longer-term stability including government issues and international assistance and investment in jobs, what can we change in the overall strategy of this country and try to avoid another haiti in the future?
5:02 pm
>> thank you, senator. i believe that the change that you are referring to has to begin inside haiti. we talk about governance and leadership, we have to remember that this country rose to become independent back in 18 04. i am personally skeptical about trusting entities that are in my opinion not delivered. you only have to look at the response, or lack thereof, of the leadership in haiti. as we move forward, we need to
5:03 pm
partner with leadership that has the utmost integrity. the leadership that puts haiti and haitian people first. >> here is the dilemma. the governments are what they are. we can try to impact them in the way that they develop the institutions of democracy that protect the people from not only natural disasters but from abusive practices of the government. that needs to be part of the strategy. my point is how do we structure of our foreign assistance budget so that it does not become a tool for anti-american intervention in the country but uses the right incentives so that when we put money into a country, we know that we will get to the purposes of what we intended. >> let me offer a self-serving response to that. we do not have a very introspective or reflected
5:04 pm
foreign aid a bureaucracy. the defense department spends a lot of time and money trying to find out what it did wrong. after action reports, a tactical and strategic lessons are a major element of military planning. if you look at the military in iraq from 2003 to 2007, you see a substantial improvements. they made studies in changed the method. the british agency does a lot of money pretty expensive lot of money on analysis to get people to tell them how they could do it better. there is no money in our budget for that kind of retrospect. this is a self-serving analysis. that is with the rand corporation does. we would for the pentagon all the time. -- we do with for the pentagon all the time. >> i do not work for the rand corporation. i want to add to what you say as
5:05 pm
a volunteer. i am lucky enough to be able to be a volunteer for this 25 years because i have a job at harvard. would you suggest is not at all self-serving. there is no critical feedback loop in foreign aid. we could easily develop that. if we could use rand or universities or other people who are trying to be part of the same -- part of the scene to improve the quality and not have a slipping back and saying haiti or rwanda -- prior to the genocide, it was called the switzerland of central africa. there is a book by a man that says how the aid to going in from fans in europe actually set the stage for the genocide. you will see that some will argue that.
5:06 pm
money served to weaken as food security. the good news is that you did not need to be a nuclear scientist to figure out that some of the rules of the road would be the ones you mentioned. gender equity. what are the ground rules on job creation for women in a grand even to do with agricultural improvement, small business investment? that is one. if half of these big grants crews to overhead. i have looked at major grants where more than 50% does not leave the united states or stays in consultants. that is way too high. we can create a lot of jobs just by tweaking the rules of little bit. finally, i would say integrating this into the
5:07 pm
district plans of these places is difficult but critical. " that is very helpful. i appreciate that. >> thank you. we are on the back end of the vote. i would like to ask a couple things. some haitians have complained that they have not heard arsine carry much of president pro ball -- president preval. >> senator, chairman kerry, i have watched with a bit of news on this tragedy. i have not seen the president wants and what he said was that he lost his home. understanding the magnitude of this earthquake and what it has done, i can certainly
5:08 pm
understand that there would be an initial paralysis. but from my perspective, crises are where could leaders to find themselves. -- define themselves. >> but me pin you all down for a second. i apologize. there are a number of questions about the aid programs that we wanted to air publicly that i think would be very valuable. what percentage would you say port-au-prince has to be rebuilt? >> just as an eyewitness, the majority of it. 75%?
5:09 pm
>> 75 percent, yes. the standing structures, a building will be somstanding surrounded by destroyed buildings. >> that boggles the mind just in the idea of the clearing of debris and where to begin contemplating the rebuilding. you are looking at several years of major investment. >> i cannot see, maybe receivership is the wrong term. i do not know how we get this done with any semblance of normality in terms of the approach. this has to be, and this is probably the wrong term, it is like an invasion. you have to have so many moving parts coordinated and have to
5:10 pm
come in there with a new city planning concept. you have to have a vision for what this place looks like and what kind of government buildings and where they're going to be put. will that contribute to the functionality of the country? i do not see any entity at this point or movement. that suggests that the global community is coming around that sort of organizational effort in the way they ought to. >> as somebody who has been very much opposed to any encroachment on the sovereignty of haiti and somebody who has underlined the dignity of the haitian people and their struggle over 200 years for basic social and economic rights and perhaps underlined some of my own country's previous and less than fruitful and richmond, i would like to say that i agree that you are right. this task is so massive, we need
5:11 pm
the international a-team working on this problem. i have been in meetings where i saw that the haitian architects working under a tree. there are people there. >> i am convinced this will be coordinated. i believe this can be pulled together. i have to run and vote. i apologize for having to leave. you can work hand in hand but i do not think they would for a second go for the notion that there is a level of planning that is necessary. the rules are so critical. if there is an active effort to just not leave it to the outside
5:12 pm
contractor or whatever entity, the to bring the haitians into that rebuild you create wealth, create good confidence and get them to build that future. otherwise, we are just going to buy into it and have intentions but ultimately end up in the same unsustainable situation that we have faced in the last 25 years, as you know. we are going to stay very focused. we are going to try to press this concept of how we pull this together. there is a willingness putting aid into this. the next chance for haiti, the best chance for haiti and all the definitions that we've given
5:13 pm
for the problems of the past 25 years is to take this moment and create the kind of joint rebuild cooperative effort that provides for sustainability. the key is to really kick out there. we are going to talk to the administration about thit. we will leave the record open for about one week and we will try not to burden you with written requests. to block of the >> can i just say, to come up and make a series of proposals, it is refreshing not to have this considered to be not enough. that is a hopeful sign. >> we appreciate that concept. i am absolutely convinced that
5:14 pm
we can get this into a bigger coordinated concept. i think that there is a unique nature to this challenge. hopefully, we can take it and hand. if i did not get over there, there will cut me off on the vote. i apologize profusely. we stand adjourned and i thank you. >> this week on of "america and the courts," an argument concerning the lower courts relearning -- ruling to identify financial institutions that received assistance from the government's tarp program. fox news and bloomberg asking
5:15 pm
the records released into the freedom of information act. that is today at 7:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. on thursday in london, represented as from over 70 countries met to set clear goals on the future of afghanistan. following the meeting, hillary clinton took questions from reporters. >> i think we have just wrapped up a very productive month. we have seen the results of cooperation in the international community on a number of very important issues. i want to thank prime minister brown and foreign secretary -- the government of afghanistan and the united nations for sponsoring this important meeting.
5:16 pm
i think what we have seen is a global challenge that is being met with a global response. i especially think the countries that have committed additional troops, leading with our host country, the united kingdom. we also are grateful to all those that made their contributions known today. there are other countries like russia and others that are providing transit assistance. as important as our military mission is, we know that force alone cannot achieve our goals. 8888888888888888 its goal is to support afghan the efforts to transform and strengthen their own society and ensure their own security.
5:17 pm
as we heard a lot today starting with prime minister brown and president karzai, the goal is to have an afghan led and owned strategy. we are seeing that translate into reality every day. president karzia -- karzai that an ambitious agenda. there has been a number of plans put forth. afghanistan has moved forward on preparation for a conditions based transition. to take responsibility for its own security, and an agenda for development and governance which is critical for the future. 8888888888888888 to support the government of afghanistan's efforts to draw
5:18 pm
on disaffected taliban as long as they renounce violence and al qaeda. japan has shown an extraordinary commitment with its announcement of $50 million for the fund. the united states military has been authorized to use substantial funds to support the effort enabling our commanders on the ground to support afghan government led initiative to take insurgents off of the battlefield. we have agreed to support nato's plan to work with the afghan government on the conditions based province by province security transition. president obama has made clear that our efforts will allow us to begin to transition our own troops out of afghanistan in july of 2011.
5:19 pm
as i said this morning, it would -- this is not an exit strategy. it is about assisting in partnering with the afghans. the kinds of reforms that president karzai in the afghan government have announced are important. we're going to watch them carefully and make clear our expectations that they be fulfilled. among them are efforts to combat corruption and provide public services to people, effectively manage international aid. we also had a very constructive conversation last night at dinner hosted by the secretary. hosted by prime minister ground -- brown about how the international community can support these reforms more effectively, including
5:20 pm
significant progress toward debt relief from the international financial institutions. i also believe very strongly, and it is apparent in what i said about this issue, that women have to be involved at every step of the way in this process. to that end, i am vales of the women's action plan. it includes security, leadership in the public and private sector, access to judicial institutions, a the ability to take advantage of economic opportunities, especially in the agricultural sector. this is a comprehensive agenda that stands in stark contrast to al qaeda's reason plan announced agenda for sending female suicide bombers to the west.
5:21 pm
this brings us closer to the goal of a stable afghanistan and advances the efforts to combat extremist to threaten all of our citizens. in addition to this important work, i have the opportunity to meet one-on-one that includes relief efforts in '80. the british government, for its significance in helping the people of haiti. they continue to violate security council requirements. we were disappointed by the iranian government's rejection of an offer that would help translate some of the stockpile
5:22 pm
for reactor fuel to meet the legitimate medical needs of the iranian people. the revelation of the secret nuclear facility has raised further questions. in response to these questions, they have provided a continuous stream of threats to intensified the violation of international nuclear norms. iran's approach leaves us with little choice but to work with our partners to apply greater pressure in the hopes that it will cause iran to celebrate -- reconsider its rejection of diplomatic efforts. tomorrow, i will travel to paris where i can continue many of these discussions with president sarkozy. i look forward to the close consultations with respect to the challenges facing us. i am delighted that we had an opportunity to get a lot of work
5:23 pm
done on many matters in one place. a favorite place of mine, i think the british government for their partnership and hospitality. i would be glad to take your questions. >> hello. you talked about the general tenor of the conference. it seems to be changing the pace of was been going on in afghanistan. and to some extent, looking towards the time when troops can leave. a timescale has been mentioned. i wondered whether you thought that was a practical -- and have the caliban -- taliban lay down.
5:24 pm
>> i don't think that's what president karzai meant. first of all, we have increased the numbers we have up to the tempo of our military engagement -- it is not sufficient to provide the political environment with which a lasting peace can be negotiated. as you heard today, we'll be pursuing the military action going very aggressively against the caliban -- taliban.
5:25 pm
at the same time, creating an opportunity for taliban that choose to leave the battlefield and renounce violence, renounce al qaeda, agree to abide by the laws and constitution of afghanistan, to re-enter society. it is our assumption that we can make gains over the next few years. we can transition security to the forces -- they assume greater and greater responsibility province by province and, beginning this year.
5:26 pm
it will market eight. of transition for american troops as well as we -- while we take stock of where we have come -- and we expect there'll be a portion of the country that will be under african control. there replaced by -- i have spoken on several occasions. our military presence may continue as a dozen in countries providing training, logistics, intelligence. our, our role will diminish and transition out. that is as it should be.
5:27 pm
it was a very significant event a few weeks ago with the suicide attacks in kabul. it was handled well by the afghans themselves. there were no international troops involved. american and nato commanders -- to the afghan forces performed commendably. we have seen an increase in the recruitment of a young men joining the afghan security forces in the last two months. we have seen an improvement in retention. we have increased pay, something that was quite noticeably lacking since the taliban paid more than the security forces or the police. we see this as an evolving
5:28 pm
process where we're creating the conditions for afghanistan to assume the responsibility of its own security and permit the transfer out of international combat forces. there will likely be continuing military aid and assistance beyond the combat mission. >> the next question is from reuters. >> i want ask about the reconciliation process. the afghan government has invited the taliban to take part in what they're having his -- this year. does the u.s. condoned this invitation -- pin down this invitation? does the u.s. have a plan to
5:29 pm
contribute funds to the reintegration find that the japanese are helping to establish? more broadly, do you feel this reconciliation process that we're talking about today represents the first point in a real road map toward ending the conflict in afghanistan? >> andy, i think the startin g premise is you don't make peace with your friends. you have to be willing to engage with your enemies if you expect to create a situation that and insurgency or marginalizes the remaining insurgencies that don't pose a threat to the stability and security of the people. when president karzai announced
5:30 pm
he would be holding a traditional afghan mechanism for trying to reconcile competing views and to reach -- it was natural to say that the people that are not already an agreement with he might actually come if you're going to have one. we have a very clear understanding of what we expect from this process. we expect that a lot of the foot soldiers on the battlefield will be leaving the taliban because many of them have wanted to leave and are tired of fighting. we believe the tide is beginning to turn against them. we need incentives in order to both protect them and provide alternatives to them to replace the payment received as taliban
5:31 pm
fihter -- fighters. this is similar to what the american military did in iraq. the number of iraqis were tired of the brutality and barbarism of al qaeda as they began to see potential alternatives available to them. the began to talk with our military personnel about becoming part of the forces fighting against the terrorists. seven of the same people, including british carol that was active in this area are advising in general may crystal -- mcchrystal. there was an article today talking about a whole tribe,
5:32 pm
about 400,000 members now want to fight the taliban. you have to realize the circumstances that a tried and a village in pakistan decided to friday taliban, they were targeted with brutal suicide bombings killing more than 100 people at a volleyball match. in order to make good on the offer of an alternative that can create the conditions for peace, you have to be prepared to help fund it and provide protection for people. as part of the planning. we do not have any plans to add money to the reintegration fund. as a said, we have a significant amount of money being used coming to the american military. this is an international effort, and a number of partners have signed up and made commitments to the reintegration fund.
5:33 pm
they will be working in the same arena with the same purpose. >> our last question is from bloomberg news. >> what did you hear from chinese foreign minister today that assures you that china is ready to support a new u.s. security council section or resolution on iran? what was his response to your call for an investigation of chinese hacking against google and other chinese companies? lastly, what would you say two prominent american business leaders like bill gates who said that china oppose the internet censorship is actually a very limited. -- in china's internet censorship is actually very limited. >> we had a productive conversation with the foreign minister. they're part of the process, as
5:34 pm
you know, that has been unified. we hope it continues to move forward on the same track to work together and strange -- change the strategic calculus of the leadership with respect to its nuclear program. we share some of our thoughts with the chinese counterparts. we also set up additional opportunities for expert consultation. we made it clear everyone with whom i spoke today and yesterday that our efforts to apply pressure and not meant to punish the iranian people. here meant to change the approach that the iranian government has taken toward its nuclear program. we made a clear with his
5:35 pm
agreement on a common plan to offer ran the opportunity to ship out its l.e.u. and have a process for their research reactor in tirahn that they, so far, have refused to accept. china is a very active member of the p5 _ 1 -- p5 + 1. we had a very constructive conversation. i raised the issue as you would have expected i get on google and internet freedom front. china has its approach. obviously, they feel strongly then they are much more open than perhaps they're getting
5:36 pm
credit for. i expressed my concern that we don't want to create a series of actions that in any way in pigeons, and the freedom and utility -- that infringes on the freedom and utility of the internet. will continue to discuss this matter in the context of our ongoing dialogue. as you can tell from the quotes you referred to, different people have different impressions. the overall issue is one that everyone should be concerned about. that is making sure that no one uses the internet for purposes of censorship or repression. we had a very positive exchange on this issue with the chinese today. let me and, because you have been very patient.
5:37 pm
let me anend by asking you to stand up. they have been working on behalf of expanding opportunities for women, protecting human rights and women's right. i have had a chance to work with some of the afghan women that were here in the past, and they were very much committed to their country's future. they're also very committed to making sure that women in afghanistan play their rightful role in that country's future. i want to thank them for being here and speaking out. thank you very much. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] 8888888888888888
5:38 pm
>> this week on "america and the court's" forcing the federal reserve to force the federal reserve to identify institutions that received assistance from the government's tarp program. both fox news and bloomberg asking that the information be released under the freedom of information act. >> american jazz can be an instrument for spreading good will overseas? >> i think so. it is like a religion. they live it. >> he was, without question, the single most important figure in jazz. >> terry teachout on louis
5:39 pm
armstrong. >> a discussion now on mexico's efforts to combat organized crime and drug trafficking from today's "washington journal." >> you talk about what is going on in mexico concerning the drug war. you start of going back to december 1, 2006. can you tell us what you started that date? why is it important when it comes to understanding mexico's drug war. >> in december of 2006, president calderon took office and immediately upon being inaugurated declared a full- fledged, full front war on
5:40 pm
drugs. i start out in this form policy article which is based on a book i just published in mexico by saying that the premises on which this war was declared it turned out to have been false. i go one by one through these two or three premises, the first one that violence and had increased so much in mexico that something had to be done about it. pilots had been decreasing since the early 1990's and was below levels of almost any country in latin america. still above the levels of the united states, but it had been steadily decreasing. the second prize was the drug consumption had been growing in mexico.
5:41 pm
according to the government close the invaders. also been very low in relation to the rest of latin america or the united states or europe. >> go ahead. in light of what you're saying in debunking these myths, we still hear a lot about what is going on between the places in texas and other places. paint that and what you see as to what is going on today as far as the drug war, and what needs to be done as far as mexico's situation in the united states? >> precisely what has happened is not that the violence has brought war, but that war has brought violence. states. in to what -- chihuahua, is the
5:42 pm
result of a war, not because of the war. as president calderon sent 50,000 troops into these villages and streets, the drug cartels began fighting back and began fighting among each other. we have the war the cartel's waged against the police. it is spilling over into the united states. this is the mess we're in because of an l-devise a declaration of war through which no definition of victory was proposed. no exit strategy existed. the bush administration bought off on right away and the obama administration signed off on. i suggested a couple of alternatives.
5:43 pm
one has to do with mexico and the united states attacking what we could call collateral damage, going after the effects of drug trafficking through mexico, but not necessarily the causes. after kidnappings, extortion, shakedowns, after generalized violence. don't make such a point of combating the cartel's all the time. that is one thing we have to do. >> let me take a second to let our folks, and l. they can ask our guest questions about mexico's drug war. here are the numbers -- email is cspanwj is our twitter adress.
5:44 pm
-- address. >> the predecessors in the early 70 -- and early 1970's, they had a never-signed, never- may-public accommodation with the cartel's whereby if they made -- if they behaved, the mexican police would control that and regulate them. but knowing that it is impossible to eradicate drug trafficking through mexico. it is important to recall that the most important drug in terms of the money make is cocaine. mexico produces no cocaine. columbia has been producing 85% of the world's cocaine for years. we consume very little cocaine in mexico. the issue is to ensure that the
5:45 pm
drugs that come from south america get to the united states without causing too much damage in mexico. that is really what traditional mexican policy has been about, and what traditional u.s. acceptance of this policy has been about. why? at the united states knows that as long as americans consume drugs in the quantity that they do, there is going to be a supply for them somewhere in the world. american society seems to have made its peace with the level of drugs and consumes today. this is not seen by anybody abroad as a maitre -- major sense of priority since the reagans. >> we have someone who is asking on twiwtter, playing --
5:46 pm
plan columbia. >> is a u.s. aid package set up under the clinton administration that has been continued under the bush and obama administration to help colombia try to reduce cocaine cultivation and production, and also deal with a very large guerrilla groups that have been plaguing colombian politics now for 30 years. it has been very successful in terms of reducing violence in colombia, reducing kidnapping extortion. it has not been very successful in reducing the acreage that is cultivated with cocaine leaves.
5:47 pm
a little bit more than 10 years after it began, colombia produces just about the same amount of coca leaf in its cocaine that it did 10 years ago. the damage as much lesser. that is or what we want for mexico. what the drugs followthrough and reduce the collateral damage. >> antony, you're on with jorge castaneda. >> good morning, jorge. thanks for cspan, it is our ear to the government. i appreciate it. i live near mexico, i am a masonry contractor in southern california, mexico, and florida. they said that they were sending
5:48 pm
bullets over here to kill us, meaning cocaine. they laugh when theyñi take mony and wire it through western union to their families. it must take a toll on our economy. the money doesn't come back. if you put me in charge, i would stop every drug coming across the stupid border from el paso to san diego. why can't you guys do it? >> mr. castaneda. >> if you think the united states should do that, you have a very good point. he should have voted and supported governments over the past 40 years that might have done that in the united states. it is not in mexico's interest to do that to be quite blunt about it. this is a u.s. issue. our problem in mexico is to ensure that if the cocaine comes
5:49 pm
through, and do our best on the southern border to stop it from coming in from colombia. but we must ensure that it go through mexico with the least damage to mexico. it is your responsibility to stop at your border. i agree with you that you should. i don't see americans wanting to do so. i'm sure there are many people that think like you do, but there seemed to be more that think differently, which is why the united states have not -- has not sealed off the border. it is a 2,000 mile long border, it is a long border to seal up and shut down. if you're willing to spend the money and make the effort, best of luck to you. >> the independent line, go ahead. >> i like to ask the individual why it is his understanding why our nation doesn't engage our
5:50 pm
role in citizenry to the level that we expect other nations to engage their citizenry in regard to this drug problem. our nation is predominantly creating the need for it. other citizens and nations are supplying that need. why don't we apply the same pressure and same intensity of effort in our own land? >> that is an excellent question. as a matter of fact, it is a question that mexican governments have been asking american governments sent nine -- since 1969 when the mexican president had the first drug crisis with president nixon that had recently been inaugurated back then. the answer lies in the fact that the highly industrialized societies like the united states and western europe, now eastern europe and russia in particular have a certain degree of drug
5:51 pm
consumption. there's a certain percentage of people in these societies, middle-class societies with a lot of money flowing around and a lot of free time within that major middle-class life they have achieved. these societies do not want to pay the price of reducing drug demand systematically. it requires testing everybody, everywhere, all the time. it implies invasion of privacy, tighter security on the border in the case of the united states and also europe, and it involves penalizing people that consume or sell drugs. these are the rockefeller laws dating back to the 1970's that led to the added states having 2 million people in jail for more per-capita than the countries of western europe. the u.s. has been moving away from those attitudes and more
5:52 pm
towards the european policies the last years. this is a decision for americans to make. i agree with the current stance that is the servant -- which is the current live and let live. if they want to do drugs, do it. as long as it doesn't generate damage to others in society. the damage comes from the illegal nature of drugs, not the drugs themselves. what you can't expect is for people in the rest of the world to not see that the and that is states is a bit of two minds about this issue. >> democrats line, ralph. good morning. >> thank you for taking my call. i just want to ask jorge about what he thinks if we legalize marijuana in the united states, with the upside would be and what the downside would be?
5:53 pm
in terms of what the up side would be and what the down side would be. thank you. guest: well, that is a very good question especially coming from california. my sense is that even now -- and i know this is the case in los angeles -- medical use marijuana in california in particular is really so easily available. i understand there more than 1,000 dispensaries in los angeles alone, more than the number of public schools in los angeles where you can get medical marijuana practically without any restrictions. you don't even need a prescription. you just need a recommendation if i'm not mistaken. and among the causes are chronic pain or anxiety. frankly i have both all day long every day so i'm not sure that that is restrictive. what i don't understand is we in mexico just 100 miles south of los angeles in tijuana should be dieing to stop marijuana from
5:54 pm
mexico entering the united states and thp once it enters for all practical purposes it can be sold legally. i think quite honestly that the united states and mexico, we can't do it land, should move in the direction of decriminalizing the use of marijuana. at least start with that and see what happens. maybe consumption will go up, maybe it won't. maybe people will move on to other drugs, maybe they waofrplt maybe by reducing or eliminating the illegal nature, the illicit nature of the business we can eliminate many of the collateral damages that are brought on by the business. portugal has de crimincrimina d use of all drugs, possession, purchase and sale of all drugs several years ago. consumption has gone down. it is not a junky paradise. violence has gone down. it is quite a success story want granted it is a small country,
5:55 pm
somewhat isolated. not the same as the united states. but i think we should move in the direction of decriminalization. maybe drug by drug, start with marijuana, see what happens. the worst that can happen is we made a mistake and go back. it is a little like the voluntevolst everyone d act repealing alcohol. he was not sure what was going to happen and it worked and the alternative which was keeping prohibition was a disaster. chris: factor in that the president last year said that he was not going to seek to arrest those who use medical marijuana as long as they followed state laws. guest: exactly. and if i understand, the most recent state to have enacted legislation allowing medical marijuana is new jersey certainly with a far more restrictive blueprint than california and i have also heard there are another four or five states that have laws on the ballot for popular initiative or
5:56 pm
state assemblies this year in the united states. so, when president obama quite rightly says if a state accepts medical marijuana, whatever its legislation says, he is not going to apply federal laws in that state, i think that is an open avenue for decriminalization throughout the united states, which i think would be what we should all try, including mexico, because you see 16,000, 17,000 people have died in mexico in the last three years with the war on drugs. there are gangland killings every day. we are doing had to stop drugs essentially from entering the united states. at the same time the united states is increasingly and positively -- i support this wholeheartedly -- decriminalizing the consumption and possession of drugs. there is something wrong there. it doesn't make any sense. chris: come piled facts from area sources, about 2,500 deaths
5:57 pm
the first 11 months of 2010. related to the drug war. 5,300 in 2008. close to 7,000 deaths in 2009. those are from a variety of sources. our guest is jorge cast a made tka former foreign minister in mexico teaches at new york university has a me piece looking at this very issue. it is called what spanish quagmire. new york city, you are next. on the republican line. lewis, go ahead. john: thank you, pedro. first what is the absurd assumption you said mexico had -- you mentioned two. i would like to mention a third one and what is the purpose of the president for declaring war
5:58 pm
on the drugs at this time? thank you kindly. guest: thank you. those are two excellent questions. the first one i was getting to the third one when we started discussing the other issues. the third one was the mexican state or mexican government had lost control of broad sectors of mexican territory, law enforceme enforcement, law and order, security, et cetera. and that something had to be done about this. this is a little more true than the two first false premises. but it has to be placed in the historical context. the issue is not whether the cartels existed in mexico and did control certain towns, certain parts of certain states, whether they had corrupted and bought off certain police forces and certain mayors, et cetera. the issue is whether there was so much more of that than before that it justified a full-fledged war. and my opinion is that there was not that much more than before. those of us who lived through the 1970's and 1980's in mexico
5:59 pm
and remember how the entire federal security police had to be dismantled in 1985, remember how the crisis we had with the united states in 1985 over the torture and execution of a d.e.a. agent in mexico, those of us who recall the enormous marijuana plantations in the early 1980's in the northern states find it difficult to believe with all of the corrupt governors and military officers the drug czar in 1988 had to be arrested after a tipoff by the d.e.a. because he was not an antidrug czar, he was one of the drug lords and this was a hi high-level military officer so that premise doesn't hold water either. why did president calderon do this? i reached the conclusion with my co-auf co-author of the book i publ he barely won by less than 0.5%.
6:00 pm
many people thought he stole the election. i ching he won fair and square. a squeaker absolutely -- i think he won fair and square, but a squeaker absolutely. he needed to legitimize himself so directly that he decided to take what he thought at the time would probably be an easy? that to make himself appear presidential -- an easy quick step to make himself appear more presidential. >> you talk about a side issue when it comes to the cartels, the gun issuee. what is the point you're trying to make? >> in mexico, the government and many mexicans say that is partly true. . . mexicans say partly is true that much of the violence in
6:01 pm
mexico comes from the fact that most of guns with which that violence take places comes from the united states. and it is true it is very easy to purchase guns in the united states and easy to ship them over the border one way or the other to mexico and toes guns do fuel a certain amount of the violence. but i also try to debunk the myth that the violence comes from the guns. from the guns. why? ause you can get guns just about anywhere in the world. they are a functionib bun eligie commodity. you can get them on the black market anywhere. secondly, if they are not exported from the united states to mexico through legal crossing points then they will be ex-ported through illegal crossing points. the notion that you can shut down the border from north to south is, in my view, as silly a notion as the one that you can shut the border down from north to south.
6:02 pm
in addition, again, if people say in mexico if the united states did something about its weapons trade or gun business, then there would be less violence in mexico. well, yes, but the problem is the united states is not going to do anything about it. it is not going to repeal the second amendment and it is not going to even reenact the assault weapons ban from 1994 that was sign bid clinton and expired in 2004 that bush let expire and president president obama has been very explicit he is not going to send up for reratification. so if it rains there wouldn't be a desert. except it is not going to rain in the desert. that is why the desert is a desert. chris: tarrytown, louisiana. on the independent linement terry is next. john: good morning. a reporter once asked john gotti, the infamous massiveia chief, what his organization's
6:03 pm
involvement in the drug business was and he said we aren't involved in the drug business. we can not compete with the american government. i would like you to address, sir -- and i can back this up with numerous news articles -- the c.i.a.'s involvement in the drug busine business. they do indeed fund a lot of their black box operations through the involvement through drug, the drug import business. could you address c.i.a. involvement in the drug business as an active participant and keeping the drugs flowing in to this country? guest: well, i'm familiar with the articles or news reports that did come out from central america in the mid 1980's about how the c.i.a. was apparently
6:04 pm
using drugs to finance the contrast in nicaragua and some of the other count counterrevolutionary forces in he will solve door -- el salvador and honduras. i recall some of the investigations i think congress carried out. i don't know any more about it than that. and i must say while i believe most of those articles were probably accurate, i don't think this has been a systematic policy of the u.s. government and i certainly don't see it as a policy today because i don't see who they would be funding in latin america at least by using that type of policy. what of course you could argue and you may have a better case there is what is going on in afghanistan today where in a few weeks or a couple of months there will be 100,000 u.s. troops in afghanistan, which is of course the world's number one producer of heroin.
6:05 pm
and i'm not saying that the u.s. army there, the u.s. forces there, actively encourage the cult vacation of poppy and production of heroin, but it doesn't seem to me they are involved in any eradication campaign. if anything they have sort of an accommodation with the afghan peasants and afghan drug lords who cultivate and grow the poppy and produce the opium and the heroin that come from it. it seems strange to me to think of a country like afghanistan with 100,000 u.s. troops still being the number one producer of heroin in the world unless the u.s. has tacitly decided to let that happen, which is probably a wise idea. chris: when we hear about violence on the border there, one place that seems to come up a lot is the el paso and juarez,
6:06 pm
mexico, area. why is that? >> it is a strange situation because there is an enormous amount of violence in juarez on the mexican side. it has become the center of this war. it has been under occupied now by the phoefrbgsen military and -- mexican military and police over a year. the violence has not diminished despite the army's presence. there are killings between the drug gangs, cartels, every day. there are days when 20, 30 people are shot, killed in the streets of the city. on the other hand, el paso, on the other side, is one of the safest cities in the united states. so, the first point is why doesn't the violence spill over significantly. not that every now and then there may be an issue but by and large el paso is a very safe community. why doesn't it spill over? because there is no war being waged in el paso over drugs.
6:07 pm
this is in juarez but there isç no war being waged by the u.s. government or texas state government or el paso community. as a matter of fact a couple of el paso eldermen asked, had legislation approved in the city council to allow medical marijuana inxd el paso. it was then vetoed by i think the mayor or the governor of texas. but what the el paso community wanted exactly was to liberalize consumption and possession of marijuana and some other drugs because it is such a safe community it seemed like the best idea. so, yes, there is violence on the mexican said but the issue is is this a war because there is violence or is there violence because there is a war? s juarez seems to indicate the war comes first. chris: lumpkin texas is next. democrats line. james, go ahead. john: yes.
6:08 pm
i hear this gentleman up here saying that, oh we should protect our borders, we should do this and that. we are giving so much money to that phony mexican government over there, there have been dictator ships the whole team. they are the most crooked government. i was born and raised on a ranch outside of laredo and my family, my grand father all was raised on this same ranch. i'm 80 years old, corine veteran, veteran -- tkroeen veteran. they were coming across that border like little ants. nobody cared. look at the sophisticated tunnels. it had to take machinery to do that.ñi chris: leave it there. guest: well, i think the gentleman makes self points
6:09 pm
which perhaps other people feel. it is important to clarify a few of them. i think that, yes, mexico for many, many years was a sort of benign dictatorship or authoritarian regime but fortunately that began to come to an end in the 1990's. and by the year 2000 the party that had governed mexico for the previous seven years was voted out of office, two new presidents have come in since from different parties. i think corruption since the 1990's has diminished enormously. i think that democracy has brought a lot of good things to mexico. it has also brought some of the sunshine which lets you see things which happened before. but you couldn't see them before. and i think in the end all of this is positive. but, obviously, it has some drawbacks. the gentleman also points to the issue traditionally mexico has
6:10 pm
received no support from the united states from the u.s. government in terms of drug enforcement or other matters or a very small scale. president bush began with president calderon the maradot initiative in 2007 where the u.s. now transfers about $350 million a year for three years to mexico for drug enforcement. it is helicopters, technology, training, weapons, et cetera. president obama has continued this policy. i'm not sure it is a great idea because it is not enough money to make a difference and it doesn't really involve responsibility by the united states. this is something the mexican government likes to play with and say well, this shows that the americans now finally accept their responsibility. the united states hasn't accepted responsibility for consumption of drugs for 30 years. it is no big deal. i'm not sure this initiative
6:11 pm
makes a lot of accepts. and it gets the u.s. government involved in training and financing and supporting mexico,army forces that object many occasions violate human rights in ways that human rights watch, amnesty international and other organizations have denounced. if i were president obama, i would have taken a closer look at what bush was doing in mexico also, not just in iraq and not just in afghanistan and not just everywhere else. i would have looked at mexico, two. host: rancho mirage, california. john: yes, edge they should have a death penalty especially the government. i believe that they are very corrupt. my son was murdered in mexico and they insisted that i pay $20,000 to release his body because of the fact they had to e exhume the body, sent it to texas and we did spend the money. then they wanted another $10,000. that was like ransom.
6:12 pm
they were asking for ransom to bring my son back to the united states. and my son was a marine and i'm sorry, i think your government is very corrupt because you can pay off the judges and they will let any prisoner out but i think your country should have the dealt permanent like we -- death penalty because they can buy their way with out in mexico. i know that for a fact. guest: well, i certainly feel terrible about the story of the woman who just spoke mention pws her son and i'm sure it happened and i'm sure there are other cases like that and i'm sure that we in mexico do have to continue strong efforts in combatting corruption which, as i said, have been going on for nearly 20 years with a lot of improvement though obviously not enough. the death penalty fortunately in my view was abolished in mexico about four years ago and had in fact not been used since the 1940's. and actually in the united
6:13 pm
states you don't really have the death penalty. there are some states like texas that do and there are many others now a don't. and it is less and less used but the united states together with iran, china and russia and cuba are the only countries in the world that do. none. countries of western europe or canada or others have the death penalty and i'm very happy that in mexico we don't have it and i hope and i will do everything i can to ensure that we don't have it again and not be used. i don't think it is a great idea. chris: the final point the myth he talks about the neighbors can break their drug habit. we are returning out of time but if you want to elaborate on that. guest: i did touch on it a little earlier. the point there being that everyone acknowledges that as long as u.s. demand for drugs remains what it is the supply for the demand will originate somewhere and some of it will come through mexico if only because we share this 2,000-mile
6:14 pm
border with the united states and we also share a border with the countries or with the region of the world where those drugs are produced. south america, central mark. et cetera. i see no indication -- and the numbers don't show any indication -- that the u.s. is willing to spend money and time and effort to reduce its consumption, its demand for drugs. i see no reason to believe the u.s. will do so in the future any more than it has done so at any time in the past since the 1960 1960's, when drugs became part of a certain mainstream of american life. there are people who think this is a terrible situation, there are people who think it is ok like myself. what is increasingly difficult to argue is that there is any consensus in american society to declare war on drug

C-SPAN Weekend
CSPAN January 30, 2010 2:00pm-6:14pm EST


TOPIC FREQUENCY United States 55, Mexico 51, Us 31, U.s. 28, Bernanke 22, United Nations 19, Ben Bernanke 16, U.n. 14, Un 13, Rwanda 13, Clinton 12, Brazil 10, Port-au-prince 9, China 6, Washington 6, Taliban 5, Obama 5, Haiti 5, Florida 5, Iraq 5
Network CSPAN
Duration 04:14:59
Video Codec mpeg2video
Audio Cocec ac3
Pixel width 704
Pixel height 480
Sponsor Internet Archive
Audio/Visual sound, color

disc Borrow a DVD of this show
info Stream Only
Uploaded by
TV Archive
on 1/30/2010